At Good Good Good, we’re inspired by the words of Mister Rogers when he said, “You will always find people who are helping.” No matter what disaster, disease, or injustice is impacting a community, there are always people who are stepping up to make a difference.

These courageous and impactful people are humanitarians. Whether they’re supporting their own community or supporting a community across the globe, aid workers sacrificially work for the betterment of humankind.

According to ReliefWeb (PDF), 274 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022. In 2021, that number was a record 235 million. According to the United Nations, in 2020, 117 aid workers were killed, 242 were wounded, and 125 were kidnapped. 108 of those killed were working in their own country. 

The world needs humanitarian support more than ever — and those who step up to serve that role deserve our support. (And not only our support, but also the financial resources they need to be able to stay safe and healthy.)

World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to celebrate, learn from, and support humanitarians around the world.

What is World Humanitarian Day?

World Humanitarian Day is an annual international holiday that celebrates people who help other people. In honor of active humanitarians, and humanitarians who have lost their lives in the line of duty, the holiday is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize this important work.

Ideas for Activities To Celebrate World Humanitarian Day —

Learn the history of World Humanitarian Day.

Every year on August 19th, World Humanitarian Day is observed in recognition of the humanitarian workers who have died or been injured while engaged in their duties. It is also an important day to commemorate all aid and health workers who continue to provide life-saving care and protection to those who require it, overcoming many challenges to do so.

World Humanitarian Day was created in honor of the August 19th bombing of the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 people, including humanitarian, Sergio Vieira de Mello. The United Nations General Assembly designated this day as World Humanitarian Day in 2009.

Read quotes from humanitarians.

Famous humanitarians throughout history have shared their wisdom with the next generation of world changers — and a great way to get started learning from them is via bite-sized quotes.

Read our collection of the best humanitarian quotes from difference-makers like Malala, Chef José Andrés, Nelson Mandela, Bono, Paul Farmer, Mother Teresa, Bryan Stevenson, and more. Share your favorites with others, include them in your next Instagram caption, and let them inspire you to take action.

Follow humanitarians online.

World Humanitarian Day honors the work of humanitarians who are no longer with us — as well as those who continue to do important humanitarian work.

There are so many humanitarians worth following, but here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Donate to humanitarian organizations.

Countless incredible humanitarian organizations are doing important work every day. You can support their ongoing efforts (and hundreds of individual humanitarians as a result) by donating to them in honor of World Humanitarian Day.

Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Call your elected officials.

Individual donations to nonprofits are great — but governments have the ability to make a difference on a much larger scale. The United States currently spends less than 1% of its total budget on foreign assistance — but that 1% pays incredible dividends for making the world more safe, equitable, sustainable, and prosperous. 

Make a call to your senators and representative and ask them to maintain or increase funding to USAID — to help support important humanitarian work around the world.

(Specifically, you can ask your senators to pass S.2956: The Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act. It already passed the House — and just needs to pass in the Senate.)

Nervous about calling your elected officials or need quick access to their phone numbers? Rest assured, we have a guide to help you contact your representatives.

Be a humanitarian in your own backyard.

You don’t have to travel across the world to be a humanitarian. You can make a difference wherever you are. The keys to being a good humanitarian are to always listen to the people you’re serving above all else, focus on giving more than you receive from the experience, and persevere in your work even when things get tough.

Explore our articles on how to give back to your community and how to make a difference in the world

Frequently Asked Questions —

What is the 2022 theme for World Humanitarian Day?

According to the United Nations, the theme for World Humanitarian Day 2022 is “It Takes a Village.” 

What hashtags should I use?

The United Nations primarily uses the hashtag #WorldHumanitarianDay — and you can also use this year’s theme’s hashtag: #ItTakesAVillage.

What issues do humanitarians care about?

Humanitarian issues include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • World Hunger
  • Maternal Health
  • Natural Disasters
  • Poverty
  • Access to Education
  • Climate Change
  • Inequality

What was the 2021 theme?

World Humanitarian Day’s 2021 theme was designated “The Human Race” by the United Nations — centered around the idea that climate change affects everyone, especially the most vulnerable.

What was the 2020 theme?

The 2020 theme for World Humanitarian Day was “Real Life Heroes” in honor of frontline heroes at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.

What were previous WHD themes?

You can explore all of the World Humanitarian Day themes from 2009 (the first year the holiday was celebrated) through this year on the United Nations site.