World Humanitarian Day

 

August 19 is designated as World Humanitarian Day by the United Nations General Assembly as part of a Swedish-sponsored GA Resolution on the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the United Nations. The day commemorates the tragic loss of Vieira de Mello and his 21 colleagues along with all humanitarian personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice while relieving the suffering of victims of humanitarian crises.

The day keeps the spirit of humanitarian efforts alive while offering the rationalist outlook for adopting the notion of an ethical stance to emphasize the value of human beings, individually and collectively. Humanitarianism reflects a democratic and ethical affirmation that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanitarian vision stands for the building of a more humane society.

World Humanitarian Day 2017 campaigns with the theme ‘Not A Target’ and dedicates the day to recognize humanitarian personnel and others who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. It marks the day on which the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues were killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad.

Around the world, conflict is exacting a massive toll on people’s lives. Trapped in wars that are not of their making, millions of civilians are forced to hide or run for their lives. Children are taken out of school, families are displaced from their homes, and communities are torn apart, while the world is not doing enough to stop their suffering. At the same time, health and aid workers – who risk their lives to care for people affected by violence – are increasingly being targeted.

For WHD 2017, humanitarian partners are coming together to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget. Through a global online campaign featuring an innovative partnership with Facebook Live, together with events held around the world, voices are being raised to advocate for those most vulnerable in war zones, and demand that world leaders do everything their power to protect civilians in conflict.

This campaign follows on the UN Secretary-General’s report on protection of civilians, which was launched earlier this year. Laying out his ‘path to protection’, the Secretary-General calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, and protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical workers as well as civilian infrastructure. World Humanitarian Day 19 August, 2017 pays tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.

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Celebrating Mighty Hearts – World Humanitarian Day

Holding Hands

Offering Aid and Assistance

August 19 celebrated as World Humanitarian Day is dedicated to aid workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This year the spotlight of this special day is to look to the people who work in this gray area. 2014 celebrates August 19 by looking at humanitarian heroes, people from different backgrounds who work at the same goal – saving lives and providing the basics of life to the most vulnerable caught in disasters and conflict.

These humanitarians working namelessly and selflessly are your everyday heroes. The world over there is no difference in such people in term of ages, races, genders, religions, beliefs. And although they come from all parts of the world they share a common belief – that people affected by disaster and conflict are entitled to the basics of life – food, water, shelter, protection, and a life of dignity that’s been snatched away by disaster or conflict.

Little attention is paid to volunteers who offer time, sentiments and helping hands. They do work in dangerous situations. The UN has marks this day to honor people who dedicate their lives in making a difference to the lives of victims of disasters. The EU too assists as the world´s largest humanitarian aid donor to support such work that involves helping on-the-spot, organizing logistics, reconstructing infrastructure or training locals.

In the wake of frequent disasters the world recognizes the role of these mighty hearts that extend helping hands at recovery and relief. Be it Haiyan in the Philippines or Sandy in the US, aid and assistance is offered overwhelmingly. Humanitarian heroes came in hundreds from all over to do what they can to bring about assistance and normalcy.  They emit the loud message that no one is alone and stand up to support the crestfallen.

Humanitarians are welcomed and thanked everywhere. But a humanitarian’s life is not easy. These heroes make their own sacrifices as they devote themselves to humanitarian work. They may have left family behind, live uncomfortably and even meagerly for months on end. They survive on their own inner strength to stay in charge. On this World Humanitarian Day HERD Foundation salutes all humanitarians safeguarding the less fortunate and joins in celebrating the spirit of humanitarian work around the world.

 

Support and Relief

World Needs More Humanists