World Humanitarian Day

The United Nation General Assembly has designated today, August 19, as World Humanitarian Day.

Catholic Relief Services joins the world community in recognizing and thanking humanitarian workers across the globe.

The U.N. notes that today is the anniversary of the Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad in 2003. The bombing killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the late special representative of the Secretary General, and 21 of his humanitarian colleagues. Their deaths inspired the quest for a day to honor humanitarian efforts.

This inaugural year’s observation will commemorate those whose lives have been lost while engaged in humanitarian operations, and also recognize current humanitarian needs and challenges.

On July 29, CRS lost a dedicated and beloved colleague, Mark Snyder. Today we remember Mark and offer our hearts in sympathy with those whose loved ones have died while devoted to the cause of serving humanity.

The inaugural year of World Humanitarian Day commemorates those whose lives were lost in humanitarian operations; as Caritas Internationalis notes, 2008 was the most dangerous year on record for aid workers. Please keep these individuals, and those they died serving, in your thoughts and prayers.

Ken Hackett, president, CRS

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