World Humanitarian Day



by Michelle Teepell


World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day is observed on the 19th of August each year to commemorate the 22 humanitarians killed by a terrorist attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad in 2003. It is an opportunity to pay tribute to aid workers and everyday humanitarians who risk their lives with the work they do, and also to rally support for people affected by crises around the world. The 2018 World Humanitarian Day campaign is #NotATarget, bringing attention to the many people affected by conflict and urging world leaders to do everything in their power to protect all civilians in conflict settings.


Why is it important?

Globally, there are more than 135 million people in need of humanitarian assistance with trends indicating that this number will not decrease anytime soon. Conflict and natural disaster are the main causes of humanitarian need. Protracted crises in many countries such as Syria, Yemen, Myanmar and Somalia require humanitarian aid to help save lives and reduce suffering of civilians affected by years of violent conflict with no end in sight. Already this year, we have seen major disasters such as volcanoes, earthquakes, monsoons, and flooding in many countries around the world causing mass displacements, injuries, and deaths.


Additionally, protection of humanitarian workers worldwide is of great concern, as they are increasingly being targeted in incidents of violence in humanitarian contexts. In 2017, there were 158 major incidents of violence against humanitarian operations affecting 313 aid workers.


GlobalMedic’s Humanitarian Community

GlobalMedic has responded to 192 disasters in 67 countries all around the world. GlobalMedic’s 2,000+ volunteers are key to our successful Emergency Programs. From assembling and organizing Family Emergency Kits at our warehouse, to our internationally deployable Rapid Response Team, our community of humanitarians make everything possible. Without their help, GlobalMedic would not be able to save lives and reduce suffering of civilians around the world. Our Rapid Response Team is comprised of hard-working humanitarians, many of whom are professionally trained first-responders, that mobilize at a moment’s notice. All team members receive Emergency Response training as well as an online training program in humanitarian aid.

Along with our deployed teams, GlobalMedic stands by our humanitarian partners on the ground working and living everyday in dangerous conflict zones around the world. We have supported and continue to support local partners during times of violent conflict in countries such as Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan.

This Sunday, on World Humanitarian Day, GlobalMedic’s humanitarian community will be packing 980 Family Emergency Kits to be sent to Bangladesh for families affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority ethnic group in Myanmar, and are considered to be the largest stateless ethnic group in the world. 720,000 Rohingya civilians have fled to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 to escape from targeted violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The threats unfortunately are not over upon entry into Bangladesh. Women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse within the camps. Lack of access to basic needs such as clean water, gendered sanitation facilities and hygiene items make Rohingya refugees, especially women and girls, more vulnerable to the threats in the camps. GlobalMedic’s Family Emergency Kits will reduce exposure to these risks by providing clean drinking water at the household level. The kits include a Rainfresh household water purification unit that will provide clean water for a family for one year as well as hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap. These kits will directly support the safety, health and dignity of 5,880 Rohingya refugees displaced in Cox’s Bazar.


Anyone Can be a Humanitarian

If you want to help GlobalMedic provide humanitarian aid, there are a couple of ways you can do so:


1. Volunteer

Volunteers are an essential part of GlobalMedic. If you want to dedicate some time to supporting the activities of GlobalMedic, consider becoming a Registered Volunteer. This role involves helping with GlobalMedic’s day-to-day operations, packing events, and other tasks such as loading aid to ship out to disaster zones. It does not involve any international deployment. This role is ideal for those who want to offer their time to a charity organization but not get too far from home.

The other option is to apply to be part of the Rapid Response Team. These volunteers are often placed on call and can be expected to mobilize at any time or place on short notice. This is ideal if you have the time and energy to quickly respond to national and international disasters, and if you want to help refugees and other displaced persons all over the world.


2.  Donate

Don’t have the time but still want to help? Consider donating to GlobalMedic. As with any charity organization, resources are required to be able to offer support for people in need. These resources cost time and money. GlobalMedic relies on its donors to be able to provide clean water and hygiene kits for those who’ve lost their homes to disasters or emergency situations.  Donations can be customized to suit your budget – all amounts make a difference. We also offer the option for you to donate as a corporation.


3. Spread the word

If you’re short on time and money, you can still help us provide aid to those in need by telling your friends, family, and coworkers about the work that GlobalMedic does. You can follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for the latest updates. We also sell customized GlobalMedic gear that you can buy on our website to show your support for GlobalMedic.