World Humanitarian Day, which takes place today, 19 August, was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 to honor those who devote their lives to humanitarian actions. The date was chosen to remember the 2003 attack on the UN office in Iraq, which killed 22 people including Brazilian Sérgio Vieira de Mello, an official of the Organization who dedicated his career to the promotion of peace, with outstanding performance in humanitarian affairs.
While reiterating its support to the international community in its effort to respond to different humanitarian crises around the world, the Brazilian Government expresses its concern over the growing number of people affected by armed conflicts and disasters. According to the United Nations, at the end of 2015, there were 130 million people in 37 countries in need of humanitarian assistance.
The Brazilian Government congratulates humanitarian workers around the world as it recognizes their invaluable contribution to the victims of humanitarian crises, and stresses the importance of protecting these workers, facilitating provision of assistance to affected populations and respecting international humanitarian law.