Wednesday, August 19, 2009

World Humanitarian Day

Happy World Humanitarian Day!

From the United Nations media advisory:

Established by the General Assembly of the United Nations, 19 August 2009 is the first World Humanitarian Day. The designation of the Day is a way to increase public understanding of humanitarian assistance activities worldwide. The Day also aims to honour humanitarian workers who have lost their lives or been injured in the course of their work.

Why 19 August? - Six years ago, on 19 August 2003, the United Nations office in Iraq was bombed and 22 people lost their lives. Among them was Sergio Vieira de Mello, at that time the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq. While there have been many other fatal incidents involving humanitarian personnel the General Assembly decided to use the anniversary of this incident as World Humanitarian Day.

So a quick shout out to some of our favorite humanitarians:

Clarissa Brocklehurst of UNICEF's Water and Environmental Sanitation program.

Chris Williams of UN Habitat.

Jamie Bartram, formerly of the World Health Organization, now at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Lots more where these came from, but let's start here and get the festivities rolling.

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