"Every year on World Humanitarian Day, we shine a spotlight on the millions of civilians around the world whose lives have been caught up in conflict. On this day we also take a moment to honour the brave health and aid workers who are targeted or obstructed as they set out to help people in need, and pay tribute to the government employees, members of civil society and representatives of international organizations and agencies who risk their lives to provide humanitarian aid and protection." — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world, regardless of who they are and where they are. World Humanitarian Day is a global celebration of people helping people.
On 19th August 2018, we celebrate World Humanitarian Day to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world. The purpose of World Humanitarian Day is to raise awareness of the plight of civilians around the world who have become caught up in conflicts, and also honour and raise support for the humanitarian workers who risk, and sometimes lose, their lives to help.
This World Humanitarian Day we continue to bring attention to the millions of civilians affected by armed conflict every day. People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water, and safe shelter, while fighting drives millions from their homes. Children are recruited and used to fight, and their schools are destroyed. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers treat the wounded and sick, they are directly targeted, treated as threats, and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in desperate need.
Over 130 million people throughout the world are currently in crisis, either through war or natural disasters and are in need of humanitarian aid. World Humanitarian Day was established in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly and was first officially celebrated in 2009. The date of 19th August was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the bombing of the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, an event in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mellothe and twenty others lost their lives.
World Assembly of Youth (WAY), voice out on behalf of youth in order for them to understand the human desire to live in a better world, but this will not be so without any effort. We also raise awareness on issues like gender equality, hunger and poverty and much more as gaining access to youth is our uppermost priority. It is an appropriate moment to call for a renewed commitment to humanitarian principles by all concerned.
The highest numbers of Humanitarian workers are young people and therefore we see the importance of international actions as the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs for addressing the causes, like poverty and inequalities, underpinning humanitarian crises. The role of youth in humanitarian action is important to us, as it is an important role, given that a majority of crises are directly affecting people.
On this World Humanitarian Day, let us once again remember the millions of people in need of help around the world, the humanitarians who have lost their lives and loved ones in the course of their work as well as the thousands of aid workers who have refused to be deterred and followed in their footsteps. Since 1949, we, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), stand strong for the human rights and fight for inherent dignity of every human being.