New York, 19 August 2022 (TDI): 19 August marks World Humanitarian Day. The day is celebrated annually on this date to honor humanitarian efforts worldwide and advance human wellbeing.
On the occasion, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) brought the world’s attention to the complex mega crises today like conflicts, climate change, pandemic, hunger, displacement, and the positive role of Humanitarians in easing suffering and bringing hope for the people.
Today is #WorldHumanitarianDay!
Conflict, climate change, a pandemic, hunger, displacement… Never has the world seen such complex megacrises.
Yet there is a group of people who never give up easing suffering and bringing hope.
— UN Humanitarian (@UNOCHA) August 19, 2022
Every year, the UN General Assembly commemorates the occasion with a different theme that attempts to unite partners from across the humanitarian system.
This year’s World Humanitarian Day (WHD) theme draws inspiration from the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Like the proverb says, it also takes a village to assist someone who finds themselves in a humanitarian crisis.
Around the world, #ItTakesAVillage of humanitarians to deliver life-saving assistance every hour of every day.
Ahead of #WorldHumanitarianDay, we stand with them & recognize their important work.
— United Nations (@UN) August 18, 2022
Moreover, the theme builds on this metaphor of collective endeavor to grow a global appreciation of humanitarian work as the humanitarian needs around the world reach their record-high levels.
Therefore, the campaign emphasizes the thousands of professionals, volunteers, and crisis-affected individuals who provide emergency healthcare, food, safety, and water, among other necessities.
Also read: World Humanitarian Day 2021
History of the World Humanitarian Day
On August 19, 2003, a bombing at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, resulted in the deaths of 22 humanitarian aid workers. Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, was among those killed.
19 years ago today, this @UN flag was recovered following the bombing of the UN compound in Baghdad, Iraq.
On #WorldHumanitarianDay, we honour all humanitarians killed and injured in the line of duty.
Today and always, we remember them. pic.twitter.com/2iXwHCBjby
— UN Humanitarian (@UNOCHA) August 19, 2022
Consequently, the UNGA passed a resolution five years later declaring August 19 as World Humanitarian Day. It honors all the humanitarians killed and injured in the line of duty.
WHD is a campaign run by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Significance of the theme
In the year before this year’s World Humanitarian Day, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the UN reported that more than 460 relief workers had been attacked.
Furthermore, so far this year, 168 aid workers have been attacked, leading to 44 fatalities, according to Humanitarian Outcomes.
According to UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, Humanitarian needs are at an all-time high, and relief workers are working in ever more perilous circumstances.
He said, “As we celebrate World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to all humanitarian workers who often work in dangerous conditions to help others in need, and we commemorate those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”
Remarks by the INGO’s dignitaries
Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, on the occasion stated that Humanitarians toil continuously to make our world a better place, far from the spotlight and out of the news.
Far from the spotlight and out of the headlines, humanitarians work around the clock to make our world a better place.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 19, 2022
Furthermore, on this World Humanitarian Day, he honored their dedication and courage as well as the people who have sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of this worthy cause.
David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), on WHD 2022, honored all humanitarian workers’ commitment, dedication, and bravery. Moreover, he expressed his profound gratitude to the WFP and all the partners for everything they do daily to improve the world.
On #WHD2022, we celebrate the commitment, dedication and bravery of humanitarian workers around the world. I could not be more proud of @WFP & our partners for all they do, every single day, to make this world a better place. Thank you. This day is for you! pic.twitter.com/OCjsv7Zzfr
— David Beasley (@WFPChief) August 19, 2022
In addition, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General, QU Dongyu, applauded humanitarians who risk their lives to better the lives of others.
Also, he honored and expressed appreciation for the dedicated FAO team, partners, and everyone on the frontlines of crises.