On 19 August 2003, a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Five years later, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 19 August as World Humanitarian Day (WHD).
Each year, WHD focuses on a theme, bringing together partners from across the humanitarian system to advocate for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises, and for the safety and security of aid workers.
WHD is a campaign by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and humanitarian partners.
Recent WHD Campaigns
- 2022: It Takes a VillageWhenever and wherever people are in crisis, there are others who help them. From the affected people themselves – always first to respond when disaster strikes – to the global community that supports them as they recover, they come together to ease suffering and bring hope. Because, as the saying goes: It takes a village […]
- 2021: Join #TheHumanRaceFor this World Humanitarian Day, 19 August, we’re coming together for #TheHumanRace: a global challenge for climate action in solidarity with people who need it the most.
- 2020: Real Life HeroesAround the world, many people have grown up with local stories of fictional heroes, from folktales to fantasy epics. Humanitarians didn’t appear in those stories, but this year we bring these unsung heroic stories to life.