Today, 19 August 2010, the United Nations celebrates World Humanitarian Day, an opportunity to pay tribute to humanitarian workers the world over.
In 2008, a special session of the UN General Assembly designated the day “to honor all humanitarian and the United Nations and associated personnel who have lost their lives in the cause of duty and those who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause.” The day marks the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, which killed 22 people and injured more than 100.
The day seeks to increase public awareness about humanitarian work and the importance of international co-operation. It also commemorates humanitarian personnel who have lost their lives in delivering responses, and those who work to promote the humanitarian cause.
Today, the UN is marking the day by releasing a short film featuring United Nations staff worldwide. Shot in over 40 countries by humanitarian workers, with all time donated for free, the film aims to show the diversity of places, faces and endeavours of humanitarian aid workers in 2010.