United Nation (UN) World Humanitarian Day will be observed across the globe including Pakistan on August 19 (Wednesday). It is worth mentioning here that August 19 is the anniversary of the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad where 22 people including, UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello lost their lives.
The World Humanitarian Day is a day dedicated to humanitarians worldwide, as well as to increase public understanding of humanitarian assistance activities. The day honours all humanitarians who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause, and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty. It aims to increase public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation.
The day aims to honour humanitarian workers who have lost their lives or injured themselves in the course of their work, and to acknowledge the ongoing work of humanitarian staff around the world. Many communities and organizations try to increase the importance of humanitarians by distributing publicity and information material. For the year 2010 and beyond, it is anticipated that World Humanitarian Day will focus on humanitarian themes to help increase public awareness.
Humanitarians provide support for different world challenges such as hunger, gender-based violence, refugees and displaced people, help for children, as well as clean water and access to sanitation.
More than 700 humanitarian workers have died or experienced the most dangerous situations while trying to help those in need. The increasing economic crisis and global challenges such as poverty, global health problems, increase prices and the rising number of people on the move, increases the need for humanitarians each year.