World Humanitarian Day - August 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
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.