About World Humanitarian Day
On World Humanitarian Day we remember the sacrifices made by those who have lost their lives during humanitarian operations; we pay homage to those who continue to put their lives at risk to offer assistance and aid and we give a voice to all the people who need help.
Every year catastrophes and conflicts cause immense suffering for millions of people, often the world’s poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable individuals. Together with poverty, these disasters are among the principal causes of food insecurity.
Humanitarian workers help 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.
In December 2008 the UN General Assembly established the World Humanitarian Day on 19 August in memory of the brutal terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003, where 22 people lost their lives.
2016 Theme: One Humanity
Every day, humanitarian aid workers stand on the front lines of war and disaster, braving tremendous dangers and difficulties to deliver assistance to those who need it most. World Humanitarian Day (WHD), which takes place every year on 19 August, recognizes the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and mobilizes people to advocate for humanitarian action. The day was designated by the General Assembly seven years ago to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.
This World Humanitarian Day, the UN and its partners are calling for global solidarity with the more than 130 million people around the world who need humanitarian assistance to survive. Under the theme of ‘One Humanity’, World Humanitarian Day will highlight how the world came together in Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit earlier this year, and made commitments to support people affected by crisis and ensure that aid workers can safely and more effectively deliver to those in need.
Events will be held around the world on 19 August to honor the work of humanitarian workers and to celebrate the theme of ‘One Humanity’. In New York, a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the United Nations headquarters, and a high-level event will be held in the General Assembly Hall. In addition a digital campaign will be launched on the day to raise awareness of the impossible choices that people caught in crisis face. World Humanitarian Day will also feature photo exhibitions and film screenings documenting the lives of those affected by conflict and disaster.
For more information, please visit: www.unocha.org/whd2016.