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    World Humanitarian Day — this year’s theme is ‘It Takes a Village’

    World Humanitarian Day — this year’s theme is ‘It Takes a Village’

    World Humanitarian Day — this year’s theme is ‘It Takes a Village’
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    World Humanitarian Day is observed on August 19 to honour those who lost their lives in line of duty and those who keep working in risky situations to help people in distress. Read about the history, theme and significance of the UN-designated day.

    Every year, World Humanitarian Day is observed on August 19 to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to serve humanity against all odds. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2008 designating August 19 as World Humanitarian Day. The UN hopes that the day will serve as a reminder to people of the risk taken by some to save lives and support humanitarian causes.

    History

    On August 19, 2003, terrorists bombed the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

    Five years later in 2008, the UN General Assembly, as part of a resolution on the Coordination of Emergency Assistance, designated the day as World Humanitarian Day to pay tribute to those who were killed in the bombing.

    World Humanitarian Day is a campaign that is coordinated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

    Theme

    Every year, World Humanitarian Day focuses on a theme to raise awareness about a cause.  The theme helps to bring together different partners from across the humanitarian system to raise awareness for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises and also to strengthen the focus on the safety and security of aid workers.

    This year, World Humanitarian Day focuses on the theme. ‘It Takes A Village,’ which highlights how aid workers come together in a collective effort to alleviate extreme need.

    “Just like the saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ it takes a ‘village’ of humanitarians working with affected communities to bring help and hope to people caught up in crises,” Martin Griffiths, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General For Humanitarian Affairs, said in a statement. This year, the theme of World Humanitarian Day builds on this metaphor of collective endeavour and reminds people to appreciate those who engage in humanitarian work, he said.

    Significance

    World Humanitarian Day is observed to not just honour those who lost their lives in the line of duty but also to pay tribute to those working in dangerous conditions to help others in need.

    Last year, over 460 aid workers were victims of attacks, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, quoting data from Humanitarian Outcomes.

    The data revealed that more than 140 aid workers were killed in these attacks, which is the highest number of aid worker fatalities since 2013. During the period, 117 aid workers were kidnapped and 203 were injured. 

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