On this day, 19 August 2009, the United Nations General Assembly formalized the day as the World Humanitarian Day in order 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.On World Humanitarian Day the world commemorates humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work, and honour all aid and health workers who continue to provide life-saving support and protection to people most in need.
The highest numbers of Humanitarian workers are young people and therefore we highlight 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.
In 2020, nearly 168 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection. This represents 1 in about 45 people in the world, and is the highest figure in decades. The United Nations and partner organisations aim to assist nearly 109 million of the most vulnerable people. The situation will keep getting worse unless climate change and the root causes of conflict are better addressed.
This year, the World Humanitarian Day, comes as the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic over recent months. Aid workers are overcoming unprecedented access hurdles to assist people in humanitarian crises and need in many countries. The campaign for this year is #RealLifeHeroes, a global campaign that celebrates humanitarians, a “thank you” to the people who have committed their lives to helping others. This campaign focuses on what drives humanitarians to continue to save and protect lives despite conflict, insecurity, lack of access, and risks linked to COVID-19.
The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) supports this World Humanitarian Day in honoring those young women and men who have tirelessly improved countless lives, showcasing incredible strength along the way. We are paying special tribute to the real-life heroes who have committed their lives to helping others in the most extreme circumstances throughout the world. WAY also voice out on behalf of youth in order for them to understand their human desire to live in a better world, but this will not be so without any effort. We also raise awareness on youth 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.
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.
Join us in celebrating these heroes, who are even more worthy of our admiration and celebration.