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Support Humanitarian Activities

Support Humanitarian Activities

World Humanitarian Day - 19 August 2010. The purpose of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human beings. "Better acceptance of humanitarian work by state and non-state actors alike is desperately needed. The vast majority of aid workers come from the countries in which they work. Preventing them from doing their work harms no-one more than the most vulnerable. Today is a good time for a renewed commitment to humanitarian principles by all concerned." (See below, a film shot in over 40 countries)

Haiti - www.worldhumanitarianday.infoHaiti - www.worldhumanitarianday.infoThe theme of today is "I am a humanitarian". Humanitarian Principles represent the foundation of humanitarian action. Key humanitarian principles include:

Humanity: Human suffering must be addressed wherever it is found. The purpose of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human beings.

Neutrality: Humanitarian actors must not take sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

Impartiality: Humanitarian action must be carried out on the basis of need alone, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress and making no distinctions on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class or political opinion.

Kenya - www.worldhumanitarianday.infoKenya - www.worldhumanitarianday.infoOperational Independence: Humanitarian action must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian action is being implemented".

On 11 December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided:

" designate 19 August as World Humanitarian Day in order to contribute to increasing public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in this regard, as well as to honour all humanitarian and United Nations and associated personnel who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty, and invites all Member States and the entities of the United Nations system, within existing resources, as well as other international organizations and non-governmental organizations, to observe it annually in an appropriate manner."

Brazil - www.worldhumanitarianday.infoBrazil - www.worldhumanitarianday.infoThe humanitarian community’s ability to respond rapidly, effectively and predictably to crises, natural or man made, has improved beyond all recognition in the last 20 years. This is due largely to the dedication of the many thousands of aid workers who have devoted their lives to humanitarian work, matching idealism with action, and principles with practice. Their selfless and non-political endeavours are vital for the necessary acceptance by all concerned that assistance to the needy should be provided impartially and neutrally, without reference to religion, gender, or race.

Humanitarian needs are growing faster than our ability to deal with them. Long-running and intractable conflicts are still exacting an unconscionable toll on civilians. Natural hazards are becoming increasingly severe and frequent. The international humanitarian community is facing new threats generated by the combined effects of global mega-trends: climate change, chronic poverty, the food and financial crises, water and energy scarcity, migration, population growth, urbanisation, pandemics.

The 2010 World Humanitarian Day project is a collaborative film shot in over 40 countries in under 9 weeks, on a shoestring budget - with the goal of showing the enormous diversity of places, faces and endeavors of humanitarian aid workers in 2010. It was filmed by humanitarian staff and freelance filmmakers from around the globe (over 50 contributors in total) with all time donated.

Credits: Music by Krister Linder ( - 2D animation by Anu Nagaraj @ Massmarket ( -Title design by David Rasura. Produced by David Ohana/AVMU @ UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) - Source: World Humanitarian Day 

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