World Humanitarian Day is marked on August 19 annually to honour humanitarians across the world. The day is observed to pay tribute to people who sacrificed their lives despite the odds and continue to provide protection and life-saving support to people in need. Every year, the United National General Assembly marks the event with a new theme.
For the year 2021, World Humanitarian Day sheds light on the climate crisis and its immediate human cost. The aim is to mount pressure on world leaders to initiate meaningful steps to challenge climate change and save the most vulnerable people in the world. On its official website, the world body said, “With most climate campaigns focused on slowing climate change and securing the planet’s future, World Humanitarian Day 2021 will highlight the immediate human cost of the climate crisis and pressure world leaders to take meaningful climate action for the world’s most vulnerable people.”
This day was observed in the memory of the 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, that claimed 22 lives, including the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. World Humanitarian Day is a result of the works of a foundation laid by de Mello along with his family working with co-humanitarians such as France, Switzerland, Japan, and Brazil in Geneva and New York. The ambassadors worked to steer the draft resolution under the United Nations General Assembly.
The UN established World Humanitarian Day to acknowledge the sacrifice of de Mello and many humanitarians like him. The UN General Assembly formalized August 19 as World Humanitarian Day in 2009.
Humanitarians constitute a large number of people who risk their lives to support various humanitarian causes and save other people. They are regarded to be the people who are the first to react to such world crises and the last ones to leave. They are responsible for strengthening global humanitarian comebacks. People celebrate the day across the world by creating awareness around the cause. Campaigns that help people are sponsored by private and co-corporations and supported by humanitarians across the world.