World Humanitarian Day: 19 August

The World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed every year on 19 August to recognize work of humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives. The observance of the day provides opportunity to celebrate spirit that inspires humanitarian work around globe. It pays tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service and also to rally support for people affected by crisis around the world.

The campaign theme for this year is #NotATarget. It aims to draw attention towards the millions of innocent civilians affected by armed conflict every day, who are forced to flee or hide due to conflicts and wars around the world. This year’s campaign demands world leaders to do everything in their power to protect all civilians in conflict

Background

The World Humanitarian Day was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing a resolution A/63/L.49 in 2008.The resolution was sponsored by Sweden and was passed by UNGA on Strengthening of Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the UN.  The day marks death of then Special Representative of Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues who were killed in bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003. Since 2009, this day is observed annually by humanitarian community to ensure safety and security of humanitarian aid workers and for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crisis.

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