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On 19th August 2018, the world celebrates World Humanitarian Day (WHD). The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the plight of innocent civilians around the world who have become caught up in conflicts. The awareness day was established to also pay tribute and raise support for the humanitarian workers who risk and sometimes lose, their lives to help people in need.
Over 130 million people throughout the world are currently in crisis, either through war or natural disasters and are in need of humanitarian aid.
World Humanitarian Day was founded in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly. The date of 19th August was selected as it marks the anniversary of the bombing of the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, an event in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mellothe and twenty others lost their lives.
Since the inception of WHD, organisations from across the globe have continued to honour the awareness day in a range of ways including volunteering, fundraisers and lectures.
In 2017, humanitarian partners from around the world came together and created the campaign #NotATarget. The reasoning behind the movement was due to the amount of health and aid workers becoming increasingly targeted during conflicts.
In countries during times of conflict, people are becoming trapped in warzones, children are being taken out of schools, families are being removed from their homes and millions of civilians being forced to hide or run for their lives. The #NotATarget campaign’s aim is to shed light on the conditions that the aid workers actively put themselves in, to help save lives.
WHD is a day for individuals from all around the world to come together and take action. You can help create a safer and more humane world for the communities affected by crisis and the people who devote their lives to helping them. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
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