World Humanitarian Day – August 19th, 2022

World Humanitarian Day – August 19th, 2022
Photo by Max Bender from Unsplash


Beatrice Serra 

International Justice and Human Rights Researcher 

Global Human Rights Defence

On August 19th, the international community annually celebrates World Humanitarian Day. Established by the UN in 2009, such a day honors the death of 22 individuals who lost their lives following the bombing of the UN office in Baghdad. (National Today, 2022)

In recent years, the number of people facing humanitarian crises has exponentially worsened. In 2022, the United Nations reported the number of people needing humanitarian assistance and protection as 274 million, a sharp increase compared to the 235 million people a year ago. These figures, which are the highest in decades, are due to protracted conflict in developing countries and raising of extreme poverty, as well as the devastating effects of climate change, natural disasters, forced displacement and the COVID-19 pandemic. (Global Humanitarian Overview, 2022)

The 2022 World Humanitarian Day campaign put in the spotlight the collective efforts of thousands of volunteers, professionals and crisis-affected people who deliver humanitarian assistance in emergency contexts, including health care, shelter, food, protection, water and much more. Such crucial work is, however, extremely dangerous. Only last year, 141 aid workers were killed, recording the highest number since 2013. Despite this reality, humanitarian personnel relentlessly continue their work to alleviate the suffering of people worldwide. (UN News, 2022) 

Sources and Further Readings:

National Today (2022), World Humanitarian Day – August 19th, 2022, National Today, retrieved on August 19th, 2022, from,High%20Commissioner%20for%20Human%20Rights.. 

OCHA (2022), Global Humanitarian Overview 2022, retrieved on August 19th, 2022, from

United Nations (August 19, 2022), Aid workers saving lives in the face of danger: World Humanitarian Day, UN News, retrieved on August 19th, 2022, from