World Humanitarian Day 2021: Theme and What You can Do

In 2021, 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection.

With worldwide issues such as COVID-19, poverty, political conflicts, and climate change, many are suffering from inevitable circumstances around them. Moreover, these humanitarian issues require workers to aid them, which is a big risk and many have put their lives on the line to save people in need. Let’s take the time to participate in World Humanitarian Day.

World Humanitarian Day is celebrated in honor of these humanitarian workers who have lost their lives during their work and to show appreciation for humanitarian aid workers who are risking their lives to save people around the world. So how does World Humanitarian Day play a part in this? Read more to find out!

When is World Humanitarian Day?

World Humanitarian Day is celebrated every 19th of August, in memory of the 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq. The day was formalized in 2009, by the United Nations General Assembly as World Humanitarian Day (WHD).

What is World Humanitarian Day?

World Humanitarian Day focuses on issues around the world related to humanitarian needs and finds voices for the people who are in need or are suffering from these issues and gathers these topics to discuss in the UN conferences with leaders all over the world.

Report of Global Humanitarian Overview 2021

The Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) is an assessment overview of the 2020’s global humanitarian issues and covers the global trends, challenges and achievements from the previous years. Below is the list of some of the global issues covered by the UN for humanitarian needs.

Issues focused by Global Humanitarian Overview

  • Political conflict
  • Hunger
  • Gender Violence
  • Youths
  • Climate Refugee

According to the report, in 2021, 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection. Compared to last year’s number, there is an increase from 1 in 45 people to 1 in 33 people in just a year, which was the highest figure in decades. This year, the UN and partner organizations aim to assist 160 million people from 56 countries and are expected to cost $35 billion to do so.

In regards to the global trend, the report talks about a few important challenges such as economic decline, political conflicts and displacement, hunger and health issues due to COVID, and vulnerable people affected by climate change.

One of the focuses of economic decline setting back the development gain shows how COVID has increased the poverty rates which have been declining since 1998. Additionally, there was also an increase in the unemployment rate and a decrease in domestic products.

The report also focuses on gender based violence in humanitarian action. Mentioned in the report that humanitarian contexts affect women more than men. In the worldwide context, 70% of women experience gender-based violence in humanitarian contexts, such as more women are prone to conflict, displacement, health issues, and natural disasters than men. Gender inequalities are also unavoidable as women are at risk of gender stereotypes and norms.

These are some of the issues covered in the report. If you are interested in knowing more about the report, read more on Global Humanitarian Overview 2021.

What is the Theme of World Humanitarian Day 2021?

climate change action
The theme emphasizes the consequences of climate change and people affected as well as having their voices heard by the top of the agenda at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

Climate change and extreme weather events are key drivers of the recent rise in global hunger and food insecurity.

In 2019, a total of 396 natural disasters were reported which was about 50 cases above the annual average of the last 10 years. Climate change has caused the lives of 1,755 people and affected nearly 95 million people. Moreover, the poor and vulnerable are mostly affected by this climate change as their environment, jobs, and food supplies are at risk with the fast and extreme changes in climate.

The numbers of people affected are likely to increase in the future, as more than 80% of the world’s food-insecure people live in disaster-prone countries.

What Can We Do on World Humanitarian Day?

With the information, you must be wondering what you can do for World Humanitarian Day 2021, and here are some ways you can contribute!

Watch the World Humanitarian Day Film

Watch the film below about #thehumanrace, share the video and participate with friends and family in the climate change action.

Help spread the word

Use your social media platforms, town halls, events, and any type of gathering to share and spread the word about the humanitarian crisis. Gather people to talk about the issue and make positive changes.

Get Influencers Involved

Ask influencers and people with voice and power to speak up and about the issue, share campaigns and spread the word.

Be a Part of the Campaigns

people doing activities for world humanitarian day
The UN has a list of campaigns that you can contribute in individual ways such as doing 100 hours of activities in exchange for voicing out for climate change which.

The #thehumanrace will take into account 100 minutes of action taken on the mobile app, Strava from August 16th to 31th, and “Every minute of activity counts towards carrying our message to world leaders at COP26.” COP26 refers to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, a global summit to tackle climate change.

Understanding humanitarian issues can be difficult when most of us do not see their effects. However, small or big, be the voice of the people. Let’s make the change we want to see! If you are interested in climate related issues, check out these articles about human rights. Or learn about the latest climate change report from IPCC.

Author: Thiri Zaw Yazawa
Member of Ethical Choice
Started my ethical journey with knowing the truth about pet shops and cafes. Enthusiastic to find interesting ethical products and ideas around the world. Always challenging myself to start small for bigger changes every day because there is no planet B.