World Humanitarian Day, Friday August 19 2011

World Humanitarian Day is a celebration of people helping people. Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world.

The day recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of those who risk their lives to give others help and hope. It is also about inspiring the spirit of aid work in everyone. Find out how you can join forces with United Nations and aid organizations worldwide and take action.

I was working for the UN in East Timor at the same time as Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was UN Transitional administrator,at the time.

After 34 years working tirelessly for humanitarian causes.He was killed in the Canal Hotel Bombing in Iraq along with 20 other members of his staff on 19 August 2003 while working as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Iraq. Before his death, he was considered a likely candidate for UN Secretary-General.It is special and selfless people like this and many ‘ordinary’ people who end up do extraordinary work on behalf of others, without any publicity or honarary mentions that the world humanitarian day celebrates.

From Haiti


PUBLICATION: Psychological first aid – Guide for field workers
(WHO, War Trauma Foundation, World Vision)

The United Nations health agency and its partners have launched a guide to help fieldworkers provide vital psychological support to people affected by humanitarian emergencies. The guide was released to coincide with World Humanitarian Day, celebrated on 19 August, which recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of those who risk their lives to give others help and hope. Produced jointly by WHO, the War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International, the guide reflects the emerging science and international consensus on how to provide basic support to people in the immediate aftermath of extremely stressful events.


The guide book is available here.

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