Civilians are #NotATarget: World Humanitarian Day

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Join the #NotATarget movement to demand that world leaders take action to protect all civilians caught in the conflict.
Join the #NotATarget movement to demand that world leaders take action to protect all civilians caught in the conflict.

“Around the world, conflict is forcing record numbers of people from their homes, with over 65 million people now displaced. Children are recruited by armed groups and used to fight. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid and medical workers provide for those in need, they are all too often targeted or treated as threats.”UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

This World Humanitarian Day, we continue to recognize the suffering of millions of civilians caught in the conflict. People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water, and safe shelter while fighting drives millions from their homes. Schools are destroyed and children are recruited and forced to fight. Women are abused and used as tools of war. As humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers help the wounded and sick, they are directly targeted, treated as threats, and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in desperate need.

Join the #NotATarget movement to demand that world leaders take action to protect all civilians caught in the conflict.

World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 UN staff.

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.

The UN Secretary-General held the first-ever global humanitarian summit of this scale in Istanbul in May 2016. The goal of this summit was to find new ways to tackle humanitarian needs in our fast-changing world. This three-year initiative is being managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The summit set a new agenda for global humanitarian action. It focuses on humanitarian effectiveness, reducing vulnerability and managing risk, transformation through innovation, and serving the needs of people in conflict.

Background

On 19 August 2003, a terrorist attack hit the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, killing 22 people. Among those who lost their lives was Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN’s top representative in Iraq.

Five years later, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 19 August as World Humanitarian Day. Every year since then, the humanitarian community has organized global campaigns to commemorate WHD, advocating for the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers, and for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises.

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