World Humanitarian Day

Ever wonder who ventures into areas so rife with conflict that basic services and protection have completely broken down?  Where events have been so catastrophic that heroic acts are required for people to survive?  Well, those who work in the field of humanitarian aid and relief are just those people and today is World Humanitarian Day – honoring those whose work saves lives every single day.

As educators, we often talk about acts of heroism that have occurred throughout history.  Those acts of heroism are often granted to those who have engaged in some type of violent conflict.  But there are many heroes, as this video shows above, whose work to save and protect lives, reduce conflict and suffering, and who mission is not for an ideology, economic gain, or control, but rather honoring and cherishing human life.

On August 19th, one of the most difficult and dangerous professions in the world will be commemorated and celebrated. This is World Humanitarian Day. And it is devoted to the more than 200,000 humanitarian aid workers around the world who commit themselves to saving lives and reducing the suffering of people affected by disasters and wars.

Each day over 2,000 people die as a result of armed conflict – that’s more than one person killed every minute.

Many more are uprooted and displaced. One out of every 170 people on this planet is displaced as a result of war. Refugees and displaced people are the largest category of vulnerable people in the world.

They depend on humanitarian aid professionals for their lives and for their future. But it is an impossible and unrelenting call to action. I remember one of my colleagues telling me that the job of an aid worker reminded him of those trick birthday candles. You just can’t blow them out.

Read more from the International Rescue Committee’s Blog

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