Today we celebrate World Humanitarian Day for just the second time, by honoring all those who participate in humanitarian work globally. August 19th marks the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, in which Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN’s Special Representative in Iraq, and 21 of his colleagues were killed while working on one of the world’s biggest challenges.
Humanitarians often work in some of the least secure corners of the world. They face war, famine, disease and natural disasters. On this day, we’re honored to highlight all the work being done by our partners, and all organizations and individuals, who work to help global challenges. And we are reminded of how important it is to respond directly to the current flooding in Pakistan and the many humanitarian crises that continue today.
There are also many ways to have an impact on humanitarian crises from afar. In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig explosion, for example, the Defenders of Wildlife (and latest Google Earth Hero) built the Gulf Oil Spill Recovery map to track restoration efforts from citizens, nonprofits and government agencies.
Humanitarian workers are deeply involved in solutions to the global challenges being addressed by the Millennium Development Goals. Recently the UN Secretary General issued a request for citizens around the world to become “Citizen Ambassadors,” giving people the opportunity to provide direct feedback to global leaders. Learn more about how you can participate:
Thanks again to all the organizations and individuals who help others.