World Humanitarian Day
Since 2008, 19 August is celebrated as World Humanitarian Day in honor of humanitarian workers, activists and volunteers worldwide, in particular in memory of those who have given their life in this line of work. World Humanitarian Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in memory of those who died in the 19 August 2003, bombing at Canal Hotel in Baghdad that killed 22 people including 18 UN staff members and injuring dozens of people. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN and former UNHCR staff member, Sergio Vieira de Mello, lost his life in the bombing.
World Humanitarian Day is also to emphasize current humanitarian needs and challenges worldwide, such as threats to humanitarian aid workers by conflicting parties, challenges in reaching the people we try to assist, and the increasing complexity of the humanitarian environment due to food price shocks, global market turbulence, water shortages and climate change.
To mark World Humanitarian Day, UNHCR offices in Central Europe organize a number of events and actions on this day to bring the attention of the public to the efforts of those who engage themselves in providing immediate and life-saving assistance to men, women and children in need across the world and in their own country.