Brussels, Belgium  19 August 2021

Every year on 19 August, World Humanitarian Day highlights aid workers and civilians around the world whose lives have been at risk. The United Nations General Assembly formalised the day in 2009 in honour of the 22 aid workers killed in the bombing attack in Baghdad in 2003.

This year, the focus lies on the global challenge for climate action. The climate emergency is causing destruction across the world at an unmanageable scale for people on the front lines and in the humanitarian community. The world’s most vulnerable people have contributed the least to the global climate emergency, and yet they are the ones who are hit the hardest with millions of others that are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their lives.

The 12th World Humanitarian Day calls attention to the immediate consequences of the climate emergency for the world’s most vulnerable people and aims to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs top the agenda at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

Everyone is invited to join #TheHumanRace, which is the global challenge for climate action in solidarity with people who need it the most.

JOIN member organisations are delivering valuable humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable populations in many countries across the world. Johanniter International Assistance highlights the increase in humanitarian needs in recent years. The effects of climate change are steadily more noticeable worldwide, and the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation of many people. Johanniter appeals for increased support of preventive and climate-protective measures. In particular, local and smaller specialised organisations should be more involved in humanitarian aid because of their expertise.

Consult the websites of Johanniter International Assistance and St John International to find out about the multiplicity of work of our members to reduce the consequences of war and climate-induced disasters on civilians, saving lives and restoring dignity.

Pictures by Johanniter International Assistance