World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day is observed to pay tribute to aid workers who involve themselves in humanitarian services by risking their lives and to create awareness about those affected by the crisis of the world.
It was established in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly and was first officially celebrated in 2009. The date 19th August was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the Canal Hotel’s bombing in Baghdad, an event in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello and twenty others lost their lives in a tragic terrorist attack.
Humanitarian workers are the first responders in conflict situations, they risk their own lives to bring relief to others and also contribute towards peace building.
Humanitarian workers are a crucial part of global efforts to curb hardships meted on people as a result of violent conflicts.
Commenting on this year’s 2020 theme, #RealLifeHeroes, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, President of Helpline Foundation For The Needy, Abuja stressed on the need for individuals and organizations to support the world’s poor and needy especially those displaced by violent conflicts and natural disasters.
In a press statement, Dr Ahmadu encouraged individuals to research on specific challenges victims of conflicts in various countries are facing and work towards making life better for them.
“You can head out and find a way to volunteer to help”.
“You can work to improve the lives of those in these faraway cities, villages and countries every day in little ways, or become part of the effort by supporting the various charitable organizations that are already on the frontlines of humanitarian response”.
“Remember to discuss the situation around the world with your friends and colleagues, spread awareness, educate yourself, and be sure that everyone around you knows the plight of those in conflict areas”.
Dr Jumai Ahmadu also stated that the 2020 World Humanitarian Day is special because of the Covid-19 pandemic whixh has increased the number of health workers who are risking their lives to halt the further spread of the virus.
She further called for further commitment towards protecting and ensuring the safety of humanitarian workers across the world.