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World Humanitarian Day

Written by
Poppy Stringer
4
min read
August 16, 2023

When we embarked on our own journey to help reverse Climate Change, we did not truly understand the interdependency of rebuilding forests and rebuilding communities, which is why we find World Humanitarian Day such a great initiative.

World Humanitarian Day is an annual observance held on August 19th to honour and pay tribute to humanitarian workers and organisations that tirelessly provide aid and assistance to people in need, particularly in crisis situations such as conflict zones, natural disasters, and other emergencies. 

The day also serves as a platform to raise awareness about humanitarian issues and challenges faced by vulnerable populations around the world.

As the world grapples with the escalating effects of climate change, the significance of World Humanitarian Day takes on a new dimension. This day not only recognizes the selfless efforts of humanitarian workers but also sheds light on the intersection between humanitarian action and the global climate crisis. The growing impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities emphasize the urgent need for collective compassion and action to address these challenges.

Here are just a few of the things that should be honoured and focused on this year for World Humanitarian Day;  

Vulnerable Communities on the Frontline

World Humanitarian Day highlights the courage of aid workers who step into the heart of crises to assist affected communities. In the context of climate change, these communities are often on the frontline, facing the harshest impacts. From delivering emergency aid to providing long-term support, humanitarian efforts play a critical role in helping these communities adapt and build resilience.

Pakistan was devastated by floods last summer and was provided over 1.8 million by the EU in the form of humanitarian assistance

 

Humanitarian Response and Climate Adaptation

The increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters necessitate innovative humanitarian responses that incorporate climate adaptation strategies. Humanitarian organizations are recognizing the importance of integrating climate resilience into their work. This involves not only providing immediate relief but also empowering communities to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to new environmental realities.

Climate-Induced Displacement and Response 

One of the most visible consequences of climate change is forced displacement. As natural disasters intensify and sea levels rise, communities are uprooted from their homes, becoming climate refugees. These displacements strain already limited resources and contribute to social tensions, creating a complex web of challenges that humanitarian workers must navigate.

Wildfires swept across the Greek Islands last month displacing thousands of people who were offered support by EU operations

 

Humanitarian Response and Climate Adaptation

The increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters necessitate innovative humanitarian responses that incorporate climate adaptation strategies. Humanitarian organizations are recognizing the importance of integrating climate resilience into their work. This involves not only providing immediate relief but also empowering communities to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to new environmental realities.

Individual Action and Awareness

While large-scale collaboration is essential, individual actions also hold significance. Raising awareness about the connection between climate change and humanitarian challenges can spark conversations and inspire change. Each one of us has a role to play, whether it's reducing our carbon footprint, supporting eco-friendly practices, or advocating for policies that protect vulnerable communities.

Humanitarians are united by a shared mission to save and protect lives, often putting themselves in the face of danger to ensure each other's safety which is why it is so important that there is a dedicated day to pay our respects to these individuals. However, it is also crucial we understand and acknowledge World Humanitarian Day and the effects of the climate crisis on humanitarian work.

The increase in extreme weather events such as floods, wildfires and heat waves only make their jobs more difficult and as such, World Humanitarian Day underscores the urgent need to address the impacts of climate change with compassion and determination. 

By recognizing the interplay between climate change and humanitarian challenges, we can work towards a more equitable and sustainable future. Let us honour the dedication of humanitarian workers while acknowledging the pivotal role each of us plays in tackling the climate crisis. Through collective action, empathy, and a commitment to change, we can ensure that no one is left behind in the face of climate change.

Poppy Stringer

Our eco-conscious blog writer. Passionate about sustainability, she's on a mission to combat ecosystem decline with insightful blogs, driven by her concern for the planet's future.