19 August 2016
The United Nations is marking August 19 as World Humanitarian Day.
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.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “One Humanity’’
For this year’s celebration, the UN noted that every day, humanitarian aid workers stood on the frontlines of war and disaster, braving tremendous dangers and difficulties to deliver assistance to those who need it most.
The World Humanitarian Day, which takes place every year on August 19, recognises the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and mobilise people to advocate for humanitarian action.
The UN stated that “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 to honour 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 faced.
The World Humanitarian Day will also feature photo exhibitions and film screenings documenting the lives of those affected by conflict and disaster.
In its remarks, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the day, this year, followed one of the most pivotal moments in the history of humanitarian action: the World Humanitarian Summit, held from May 23 to May 24 in Istanbul.
During the Summit, world leaders came together to declare their collective support for the new Agenda for Humanity and commit to bold action to reduce suffering and deliver better for the millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance.
The #ShareHumanity campaign kicked off last year on August 19, beginning a global countdown to drive awareness for the summit.
In April, the campaign: ‘Impossible Choices’ was launched with a call to world leaders to attend the summit and to ‘Commit to Action’.