In December 2008, the sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly decided to designate August 19 as World Humanitarian Day. August 19 is the date on which a brutal terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 killed 22 people, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello. World Humanitarian Day honors those, who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and those, who continue to bring assistance and relief to millions.
The day also seeks to draw attention to humanitarian needs worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in meeting these needs. Every year, disasters cause immense suffering for millions of people – usually the world’s poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable individuals. Humanitarian aid workers strive to provide life-saving assistance and long term rehabilitation to disaster-affected communities, regardless of where they are in the world and without discrimination based on nationality, social group, religion, sex, race or any other factor.
Down the Street. Across the Country. Around the World. The American Red Cross helps people affected by disasters. Internationally, we accomplish this by working with the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network and other partners to deliver lifesaving services.