World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed every year on August 19 as a tribute to aid workers and those who lost their lives in humanitarian service. It marks the day on which Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues lost their lives in the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad.
World Humanitarian Day 2019 Theme
The campaign for 2019 World Humanitarian Day is ‘Women Humanitarians’. This year, the day will honour women who had work in crisis throughout the world, be it from the war-wounded in Afghanistan to the food insecure in the Sahel.
As mentioned in the OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) website, ‘Women make up a large number of those who risk their own lives to save others. They are often the first to respond and the last to leave. These women deserve to be celebrated. They are needed today as much as ever to strengthen the global humanitarian response. And world leaders, as well as non-state actors, must ensure that they – and all humanitarians – are guaranteed the protection afforded to them under international law.’