World Humanitarian Day 2023: Date, Theme, Significance, History, FAQs

The World Humanitarian Day is observed internationally on August 19 to commemorate those who were killed in the bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003. 22 people including the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello were killed in the attack and the event drew worldwide attention.

In honor of those who were killed and to recognize those who put their put lives on line to work for humanitarian causes, it was decided by the United Nations General Assembly to observe August 19 every year as World Humanitarian Day (WHD).

World Humanitarian Day 2023 Date

Below mentioned are the upcoming dates for World Humanitarian Day for the next 5 years.

Event Date Day
World Humanitarian Day 2023 August 19, 2023 Saturday
World Humanitarian Day 2024 August 19, 2024 Monday
World Humanitarian Day 2025 August 19, 2025 Tuesday
World Humanitarian Day 2026 August 19, 2026 Wednesday
World Humanitarian Day 2027 August 19, 2027 Thursday

World Humanitarian Day 2023 Overview

Event World Humanitarian Day 2023
Date August 19, 2023
Day Saturday
Declared by United Nations
Purpose To recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes

World Humanitarian Day 2023 Significance

As a part of Swedish-sponsored GA Resolution on the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the United Nations, August 19 is observed annually as World Humanitarian Day. The day remembers all those who gave their life for humanitarian causes and those who still strive to work for such causes, and even put their lives on risk for that.

Safety and security of these works is also of utmost important and steps should be taken towards this goal as well.

World Humanitarian Day History

While working as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, a Brazilian United Nations diplomat who worked on several UN humanitarian and political programs, was killed in the Canal Hotel bombing in Iraq along with 20 other members of his staff on 19 August 2003.

After his death, Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation was found who made relentless efforts in recognizing a day that memorizes the work of those who lost their lives and celebrate those personnel who are still working for those reasons.

A resolution was passed through the General Assembly with the help of Ambassadors of France, Switzerland, Japan and Brazil for recognizing the day. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly passed the resolution and the same year observed the first World Humanitarian Day.

World Humanitarian Day 2023 Theme

World Humanitarian Day 2023 theme: ‘It takes a village’.

A theme is decided every year to observe WHD that aims to bring partners from across the humanitarian system together and work collectively for survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises. The theme selected for the year 2021 highlighted the immediate human cost of the climate crisis and focuses to pressurize world leaders to take meaningful climate action for the most vulnerable people of the world.

How to observe World Humanitarian Day?

Celebrations of World Humanitarian Day are always based and revolve around the decided theme. The day is observed worldwide by Governments, the United Nations and International Humanitarian Organizations and NGOs.

Many campaigns and events are launched by different organizations to inspire the feeling in people to help others. The events also focus on the work and achievements of various humanitarian workers. You can also be a part of such campaign and help charities and NGOs in achieving their goals of helping others.

About Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation

Sergio Vieira de Mello was a humanitarian worker who dedicated his life to achieve peaceful reconciliation and co-existence between peoples and communities divided by conflict. To not let his dream die, his family and close friends started the Sergio Vieira de Mello foundation in 2006, i.e. 3 years after his death.

The foundation tries to achieve this goal by offering an annual Sergio Vieira Mello Award, an Annual Sergio Vieira Mello Memorial Lecture and a Sergio Vieira de Mello Fellowship. The foundation played a major role in the recognition of World Humanitarian Day so that the efforts of humanitarian workers never go in vain and people recognize and appreciate their work and the ultimate sacrifices they make so that the world could be a better place.

The foundations also work at motivating people to join the cause and be a volunteer humanitarian worker.


Question 1: Why observing the World Humanitarian Day is so important?

Answer: The World Humanitarian Day is a befitting tribute to all humanitarian personnel who have made for all victims of humanitarian crises and an encouragement to all their serving colleagues.

Question 2: When will be the next World Humanitarian Day observed?

Answer: World Humanitarian Day 2023 will be observed on 19 August 2023.

Question 3: What is the theme for World Humanitarian Day 2023?

Answer: No theme has been decided yet for the year 2023 and will be decided later.

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