August 19th, 2020 marked the eleventh year of World Humanitarian Day, a day that commemorates humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work, and also honors all aid and health workers who continue, despite the odds, to provide life-saving support and protection to people that need it the most.
Aid workers are overcoming extraordinary access hurdles to assist people in humanitarian crises in 54 countries, as well as in an additional nine countries which have been catapulted into humanitarian need by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: United Nations)
This year a global campaign has been launched as a special “thank you” to the people who have committed their lives to helping others - #RealLifeHeroes (https://www.youtube.com/user/ochafilms)
Alarming Facts & Figures
- In 2019, 483 aid workers were attacked: 125 killed, 234 wounded and 124 kidnapped in a total of 277 separate incidents.
- WHO reported 1,009 attacks against healthcare workers and facilities, resulting 199 deaths and 628 injuries.
- 90% of all attacks worldwide were on national staff.
(Source: Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD))
History of World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day was designated in memory of the August 19th, 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, that killed 22 people, including the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly formalized the day as World Humanitarian Day.
Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD). (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2020 from, https://aidworkersecurity.org/
United Nations. (n.d.). World Humanitarian Day. Retrieved August 20, 2020 from, https://www.un.org/en/observances/humanitarian-day
YouTube. (n.d.). #RealLifeHeroes. Retrieved August 20, 2020 from, https://www.youtube.com/user/ochafilms