World Humanitarian Day 2021: Inspiring stories from the United Nations

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Health Assured team

27 July 2021

What is World Humanitarian Day?

Each year on the 19th of August, humanitarian workers across the globe are acknowledged for their incredible, life-saving work. World Humanitarian Day recognises the selfless work of people who dedicate their lives to helping others in crisis.

In 2003, the United Nation's headquarters was bombed. Many colleagues tragically lost their lives. World Humanitarian Day has since launched to recognise those workers who devote their lives to helping others.

Inspiring stories from the United Nations

The United Nations works tirelessly to keep the peace—providing humanitarian assistance and security to those in need. Many of these workers are often volunteers who go above and beyond to make a difference.

Nurses, military staff, and dedicated employees are also working to address global issues. They provide disaster relief and protect those living in war-stricken areas. The work that these people carry out each day has a huge positive impact on the world. And a lot of the time, these people are putting their lives on the line in the process. 

To celebrate these heroic efforts, we’re acknowledging some of the incredible achievements made by the United Nations in 2020.

Medical help

Despite the threat COVID-19 posed in 2020, workers stepped in to support urgent healthcare services. Over 8.5 million doses of the Cholera vaccine were distributed in seven different countries. Vaccines like these are lifesaving for people with no access to clean drinking water.

Food supply

Various lockdowns across the world had knock-on effects for world food distribution. Supply chains were disrupted, affecting millions of people that rely on international aid. Despite this, 96.9 million people received food assistance in the first nine months of 2020. Aid was delivered to refugees, people living in conflict zones and poor communities.


School closures in 2020 affected the educational opportunities of millions of young lives. School time provides security, vital nutrition and safety. So these closures can be detrimental. In 2020, 2.4 million children accessed formal or non-formal education. The United Nations has given children opportunities they've needed more than ever.

COVID protection

The COVID pandemic saw the number of people needing humanitarian aid multiply. Humanitarian workers pulled together to supply incredible levels of support across the globe. 1.8 million healthcare workers were provided with life-saving personal protective equipment. During this time, 3.93 million refugees also accessed essential health services.

Safe water

One of the essential elements of life, water is a necessity for everyone. But according to Water Aid, there are 785 million people who don’t have clean water close to home. This year, 14.2 million people accessed safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. The effects of this work can be life-changing. 

Humanitarian workers save millions of lives each year. They provide people with a helping hand and take care of those in need. The positive impact of their work is an inspiration to all. So let’s acknowledge these hard-working individuals for that this World Humanitarian Day!

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