Humanitarian aid workers are some of the most heroic and honourable people alive, putting themselves in harm's way by travelling to conflict zones and disaster areas to help alleviate the suffering of strangers.
World Humanitarian Day on August 19 honours humanitarian aid workers all over the world. Established by the UN in 2009, this day commemorates the anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Iraq that killed 22 humanitarian aid workers.
The day pays tribute to the thousands of humanitarian workers who gave their lives and suffered injuries in the course of their work. Did you know that at one point in 2021, 235 million people in 26 countries required humanitarian assistance? Those workers who live in conflict zones or in areas devastated by natural disasters are especially vulnerable.
In 2021, 460 aid workers were attacked: 140 killed, 203 wounded and 117 kidnapped.
Most of the violence took place in South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria. Casualties are expected to rise significantly in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine, where rocket attacks and shelling threaten civilians and aid providers equally.
According to the 2018 Global Hunger Index, roughly one in nine people starve every night.
65.6 million people are displaced
Over two billion people don’t have access to sanitary water at home.
Girls are discouraged from attending school in Third-World countries, with the World Bank estimating 130 million girls aged between 6–17 who are not enrolled in school.
The first global relief aid effort starts during the Great Northern Chinese Famine, which kills about 10 million people.
BBC News reporting showcases imagery of the Ethiopian famine, which shocks the world.
There is a saying that goes: It takes a village to raise a child. Similarly, it takes a village to support a person in a humanitarian crisis. With record-high humanitarian needs around the world, this year’s World Humanitarian Day (WHD) builds on this metaphor of collective endeavour to grow global appreciation of humanitarian work. For this year’s WHD will use digital art to tell the stories of people in need and those who help them.
Sources: nationaltoday.com, about.worldhumanitarianday.org, un.org
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