UN hold first World Humanitarian Day

The inaugural World Humanitarian Day is in part dedicated to the memory of all those aid workers who have lost their lives while bringing assistance to others, the majority of them from the communities they are trying to help.

The UN hopes the event will focus attention on aid workers and increase support for their role. Aid staff are working in increasingly dangerous environments and are frequently targets of attacks, it says.

Last year 122 international aid workers were killed, a death toll that was higher than that for UN peacekeeping troops.

By resolution A/RES/63/139 of 11 December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided:

“…to designate 19 August as World Humanitarian Day in order to contribute to increasing public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in this regard, as well as to honour all humanitarian and United Nations and associated personnel who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty, and invites all Member States and the entities of the United Nations system, within existing resources, as well as other international organizations and non-governmental organizations, to observe it annually in an appropriate manner.”

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