World Humanitarian Day

August 19th has been declared World Humanitarian Day by OCHA (the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).  On August 19 2003, “Canal Hotel”, the UN office and living compound in Baghdad was hit by a massive terrorist attack, killing 22 UN staff and leaving dozens wounded.

The day is dedicated to “thousands of aid workers who have devoted their lives to humanitarian work, matching idealism with action, and principles with practice. Their selfless and non-political endeavours are vital for the necessary acceptance by all concerned that assistance to the needy should be provided impartially and neutrally, withoutreference to religion, gender, or race.”

2008 had the highest amount of security incidents involving humanitarian aid workers: 260 humanitarians were victims of security incidents. 122 aid workers were killed, and 62 were kidnapped (2009 figures not available yet).

Click for more information on World Humanitarian Day from the UN.

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Filed under Inspirational Individuals, Public Health, Travels

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