World Humanitarian Day 2021
On the 19th of August of each year, the international community comes together to celebrate World Humanitarian Day in honor and memory of the humanitarian personnel who have lost their lives while diligently working to address humanitarian crises.
First observed on August 19 2009, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated this day in remembrance and to honor the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello and the 21 aid personnel who were assassinated in the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq on August 19, 2003.
As we are faced with increased food insecurity and humanitarian needs, it is necessary to raise public awareness on the crucial impact of humanitarian aid workers who constantly place themselves on the frontlines, as well as shed light on the various humanitarian issues that have robbed individuals of their livelihoods and happiness.
Within that context, the objective of World Humanitarian Day is to bring together the international community on a theme to actively work towards ensuring the well-being and dignity of those affected by crises and the safety and security of aid workers.
The focus of this year’s celebration of World Humanitarian Day is the current climate crisis. This is particularly relevant as the world is witnessing unprecedented heatwaves, turbulent weather patterns and catastrophic storms that are subsequently impacting food systems and health systems around the globe.
The climate emergency has exacerbated the fragile humanitarian situation around the world, directly affecting the capacity to provide assistance of those at the front lines.
Therefore, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights urges states to take meaningful climate action. There is a necessity, now more than ever, for a concerted and unified effort to address the impacts of the climate emergency on the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable.
Moreover, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights stresses on the importance of honoring and acknowledging the contribution of humanitarian workers and ensuring their protection as they continue to fight relentlessly to protect victims of conflict, displacement and natural disasters.