World Humanitarian Day

Date: August 19

Organized By: UN

Categories: General Knowledge, Day-Week-Year-Importance

Suggested For: UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, SSC Exams, MBA Exams, Civil Services Exam

Aug 19


World Humanitarian Day is observed on every year on 19th August in honour of aid workers, who have lost their lives in the line of duty.  It is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others.  It is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe. The day also seeks to draw attention to humanitarian service and those, who continue to bring assistance and relief to millions.

In December 2008, the sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly decided to designate 19 August as World Humanitarian Day. The date 19 August is the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq which killed 22 people, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

This decision came with continuous efforts of Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation formed in 2006 by Vieira de Mello’s family members and some close friends. This foundation is dedicated to continue Vieira de Mello’s unfinished mission of encouraging dialogue between communities and relieving the plight of victims of humanitarian crises.

World Humanitarian Day also seeks to draw attention to humanitarian needs worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in meeting these needs. The day is also aimed to renew our commitment to help vulnerable, voiceless and marginalized people where ever they may be.

The day is observed as a call for better world by helping each other.


2013: The World Needs More

2012: I was Here

2011: People Helping People

2010: We are Humanitarian Workers

Actions and Programmes

Many programmes are conducting to remember and honour humanitarian aid workers for their dedication and spirit of doing the work. They represent what is best in human nature, but their work is dangerous.

This day also encourages people to urge closer cooperation between the humanitarian and development communities to promote human security and dignity in all phases of crisis, response, transition and recovery.

Humanitarian aid workers strive to provide life-saving assistance and long term rehabilitation to disaster-affected communities, regardless of where they are in the world and without discrimination based on nationality, social group, religion, sex, race or any other factor.

Responding to emergencies is only one aspect of humanitarian work. Humanitarian workers also support communities to rebuild their lives after disasters, to become more resilient to future crises, to advocate for their voices to be heard, and to build lasting and sustainable peace in areas of conflict.

Every year the observance is based on a theme which helps in putting a particular campaign. The 2010 campaign ‘We are Humanitarian Workers’ focuses on the actual work and achievements of humanitarian workers in the field. The 2011 campaign ‘people Helping People’ inspires people to help each other. The 2012 campaign of ‘I Was Here’ reached 1 billion people with a message of doing something good, somewhere, for someone else.

Programmes and actions are taken to highlight the people in need, make sure that they are heard, and ensure that they receive the assistance they deserve. Many people joined with humanitarian organizations to help other and make others life better.

The Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation makes every World Humanitarian Day a meaningful one with the coordination of Governments, the United Nations, International Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations.


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