World Humanitarian Day


By Andrew Kobylinski, Product Marketing / Communications Officer

“Every year on August 19th we mark World Humanitarian Day in honour of aid workers, who have lost their lives in the line of duty. We commemorate their sacrifice and reaffirm our commitment to the lifesaving work that humanitarians carry out around the world every day, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances, where others cannot or do not want to go.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Today is World Humanitarian Day. The 19th of August was designated World Humanitarian Day by the United Nations General Assembly, under Resolution 63/139, “in order to contribute to increasing public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in this regard, as well as to honour all humanitarian and United Nations and associated personnel who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty”.

World Humanitarian Day commemorates the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. This year marks 10 years since the bombing, which claimed 22 lives, including that of Sérgio Vieira de Mello who was the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Iraq.

In line with the spirit of World Humanitarian Day, ReliefWeb is announcing our new aid workers’ safety and security Topic page, which compiles substantive reports related to the subject from ReliefWeb’s extensive database. These include reports such as safety manuals, statistical reports outlining security incidents against aid workers, implications of various security apparatus in humanitarian missions and the role of peacekeepers in humanitarian interventions. The page will also contain a news feed providing you with the latest security incidents involving humanitarian aid workers.

To explore our new Aid worker safety and security Topic page click here.

OCHA has launched a month long World Humanitarian Day campaign to raise awareness of humanitarian issues by turning “words into currency”. The campaign asks organisations and individuals to choose or sponsor a word which they believe the worlds needs more off. More information can be found at

You can find a range 2013 World Humanitarian Day campaigns, updates and links by searching for “World Humanitarian Day” on ReliefWeb, or by clicking here.