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World Humanitarian Day

Governance, Emergencies, News/feature, Global, 2013

It's World Humanitarian Day. What do you think the world needs more of?

Since December 2008, the 19th of August has been designated as World Humanitarian Day, commemorating the date on which 22 aid workers were killed in an attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad in 2003.

It honours those who have lost their lives in humanitarian service, as well as those who continue to work to provide life-saving assistance to people affected by natural or man-made disasters, often at great personal risk. On this day, we call for humanitarian workers to be given safe and secure access to victims of such disasters, and for all states and parties to respect international humanitarian law.

The theme of this year’s World Humanitarian Day is ‘The World Needs More...’ and today we are happy to support the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ campaign #TheWorldNeedsMore, highlighting the power of our words. Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., has recorded this video message to reflect the need for more solidarity, a characteristic which Ireland and its citizens have long shown to those in need across the world.

To date in 2013, almost €50 million in Irish Aid funding for emergency assistance has been approved, to ensure that life-saving support is provided to those in need.

Support has been provided to high-profile crises, such as the appalling situation in Syria, but also to other, ‘forgotten’ crises, which do not receive the same international attenton but where needs are immense, such as the situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan. To find out more you can read about Ireland’s emergency response work or learn about what the EU is doing to respond to crises.

In addition to Minister Costello, leaders around Europe have created their own videos:

Message from EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva

Message from Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania (Presidency of the EU Council), Mr. Linas Linkevičius

Message from Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy, Ms. Emma Bonino

What do you think the world needs more of?

Add your voice at or follow @UN_WHD  #TheWorldNeedsMore