Today, August 19th, is World Humanitarian Day to honor those who help others even when facing incredible danger. August 19th was selected as World Humanitarian Day to coincide with the anniversary of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq during 2003. That attack killed 22 UN staff members who were working to help reconstruct the country.
Humanitarians may be in lands far away from your home, or they may even be your next door neighbor. And there are people in need of help everywhere. It may be someone ill in your neighborhood or someone struggling to get food on the table.
There are conflicts ongoing all over the globe that are making innocent civilians homeless, hungry and in need of medicine. What they need is a humanitarian to come to their aid and countless times they do. In fact, there is humanitarian relief ongoing every second of every day. Right now, for example, the UN World Food Programme is carrying out airdrops in Southern Sudan bringing in food that is saving the lives of refugees.
The humanitarian chain starts at the front line in conflict or poverty zones with aid workers delivering supplies. This chain must be supported by donors even thousands of miles away from the front. In 1946, for example, a anonymous man in Cincinnati, Ohio donated an entire paycheck to help finance relief efforts to save war-torn Europe from famine.
Organizations like Catholic Relief Services and Save the Children deliver aid but also work to resolve conflicts that cause so many humanitarian disasters. The World Food Programme provides school meals around the world which give children nutrition and education so they can be lifted out of poverty.
On World Humanitarian Day you can find a way to support a charity helping others or maybe just lend a helping hand to a neighbor. Looking ahead, think of a way you can help a humanitarian cause throughout an entire year, perhaps even forming an organizations to go about that task. Or if you like games take a few minutes to play FreeRice which helps feed the hungry.
There are many ways you can help others so they are not alone in their struggle against life’s harshest challenges.