“World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering. It is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the front lines of crises. I pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The aim of the World Humanitarian Day is to call for solidarity with over 130 million people who are in need of humanitarian aid. For the international community, it is also a day when it can pay tribute to and express gratitude for the thousands of government employees, NGO volunteers and representatives of international organisations and agencies, who risk their lives and health, bringing humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.
This year, the World Humanitarian Day is celebrated for the 7th time. On 19 August 2003, a terrorist attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad killed 22 UN staff members, including the then-envoy of the Secretary General for Iraq and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello from Brazil.
This year’s celebrations under the theme of “Share Humanity” are special, because in May this year, the first World Humanitarian Summit was held in Istanbul under the auspices of the United Nations.
World leaders, many heads of state and government, and international organisations pledged their support and aid for victims of conflicts and natural disasters, and committed themselves to ensuring safety of humanitarian workers.
In 2016, Poland will provide humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees and local communities in the Middle East countries that is worth PLN 34m, twice as much as the aid it provided to the region in 2015.