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World Humanitarian Day 2019

Every August 19th, the international community celebrates World Humanitarian Day. It is an opportunity to highlight the fantastic work that humanitarians achieve every day. It is also a day to reflect on how to further the efforts to help those in need.

History of World Humanitarian Day

The United Nations first celebrated World Humanitarian Day on August 19th, 2009. This took place five years after a terrorist attack killed 22 people at the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. Therefore, World Humanitarian Day is not only a celebration of humanitarian work, but it is also a commemoration of those who gave their lives to save the lives of others.

The ultimate humanitarian traveling list

Why is World Humanitarian Day Important?

Today, the humanitarian need is greater than ever. To help those in need, thousands of people go to work every day. Often, humanitarians risk their lives to help others, facing critical situations in conflict and disaster-affect zones. However, compassion and humanity drive them to reach out a helping hand.

World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to celebrate these actions and the humanity that persists in the world. At the same time, it’s a chance for us to reflect on how to make the world a better place.

The ultimate goal of humanitarian work is to reach a point when it is no longer needed. And while we are still far from that point, the world has been making strides to become safer, healthier, and more equitable for everyone.

#WomenHumanitarians

Each year, World Humanitarian Day takes on a different theme. In 2019, it will celebrate #WomenHumanitarians. This includes all of the women on the frontlines of humanitarian work. Mainly, the day focuses on the unsung heroes of humanitarian action, the women affected by disaster themselves.

Over the day, WorldHumanitarianDay.org will share 24 stories of #WomenHumanitarians. These are stories of compassion, love, humanity, humility, and true humanitarianism. Meanwhile, we also want to thank the millions of women humanitarians around the world. Here are just a few of their stories.

Malala Yousafzai

You may have heard the story of Malala. When she was just a young girl, she demanded her universal right to education, and that of the women in her community. She made this demand to the Taliban leaders in Pakistan.

Malala Yousafzai

As a result, she was shot in the head but survived. From then on, she has actively participated in advocacy and awareness-raising for women’s rights, particularly in education. In 2012, Malala received a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.

Diana, Princess of Wales

Lady D is another famous humanitarian figure. She didn’t only win the hearts of the UK people but also saved many across the world. Her work linked to over 100 charities, including fundraising and volunteering.

Diana actively advocated against the use of landmines. She traveled to Angola and Bosnia and promoted the Ottawa Mine Ban Treated, adopted in 1997. She also actively worked with issues surrounding HIV/Aids, leprosy, homelessness, and children’s rights.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the Executive Director of UN Women, and formerly a South African Politician. She doesn’t only implement humanitarian action; she is also an advocate to empower women around the world to do so.

Through UN Women, Mlambo-Ngcuka is advancing the gender equality agenda across the world. Her focus is on reducing gender-based violence and ensuring that girls have access to the same opportunities as boys.

Graça Machel

You have probably heard of Nelson Mandela and his humanitarian work. But, you may have missed the news about his widow and extraordinary humanitarian, Graça Machel.

Originally from Mozambique, Machel has worked extensively on children’s rights. She has also addressed issues regarding the impact of armed conflict on children, maternal and newborn health, and the rights of refugee children.

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