On World Humanitarian Day (WHD), 19 August, we commemorate humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work, and we honour all aid workers who provide life-saving support and protection to the women, men and children most in need, despite the odds.
WHD was designated in memory of the bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, on 19 August 2003. Twenty-two people were killed, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated 19 August as World Humanitarian Day.
This year, we are highlighting the climate emergency, which is wreaking havoc across the world at a scale that the humanitarian community and people on the front lines cannot manage. Time is already running out for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people – those who have contributed least to the global climate emergency but are hit the hardest.
Millions of people are already losing their homes, their livelihoods and their lives. In the race against the climate crisis, we can’t leave anyone behind.
We are inviting everyone to join #TheHumanRace – a global challenge for climate action in solidarity with people who need it the most – to put the needs of climate-vulnerable people front and centre at the UN climate summit (COP26) in November.