World Humanitarian Day

From horror in Iraq to a new dawn in Switzerland, how one Yazidi survivor picked up the pieces

Adiba Qasim is an inspiration.  After fleeing an ISIL terrorist massacre in northern Iraq that claimed dozens of family members in 2014, at just 19 years old, she became a humanitarian worker to help other women who’d endured unimaginable horrors at their hands. Today, Adiba is in Switzerland, where she’s studying hard to become a lawyer – and where she spoke to UN News’s Daniel Johnson at an event to celebrate World Humanitarian Day.

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Female humanitarians sacrifice a lot to help others, insists top UN official

The work of female humanitarians is hugely important and often comes at significant personal cost.

That’s according to Melissa Fleming, currently the communications chief for refugee agency UNHCR, but soon to take up her new post as head of Global Communications at the UN, who’s been speaking to UN News’s Daniel Johnson at a special World Humanitarian Day event in Geneva.

First, though, we’ll hear from Adiba Qasim, who was also at the event; she survived an ISIL massacre in Iraq in 2014 that claimed the lives of 70 family members.

Despite this trauma, she refuses to see herself as a victim and is now a human rights advocate. 

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Monday’s Daily Brief: World Humanitarian Day, Afghan massacre aftermath, Venezuelans in Brazil, Yemen war update, and reconciliation in Mali

Our main stories today: Women celebrated on World Humanitarian Day; Afghanistan bloodshed mars 100 years of independence; Brazil’s ‘exemplary’ response to Venezuelans; UN urges Yemen’s warring parties to down weapons; and UN expert calls for Mali reconciliation efforts.

News in Brief 19 August 2019

  • Afghanistan bloodshed mars 100 years of independence
  • World Humanitarian Day honours life-saving contribution of women aid workers
  • UN renews call to Yemen’s warring parties to down weapons
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Paying tribute and strengthening the role of #WomenHumanitarians on World Humanitarian Day

The work of women humanitarians makes a “huge difference” to the lives of millions of women, men and children in urgent need, the United Nations chief said in his message for World Humanitarian Day.

Continue ‘their mission’ urges UN chief, as the victims of the Baghdad bombing are remembered, 15 years on

Remembering 22 colleagues killed by the “horrific terrorist attack” on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad 15 years ago, Secretary-General António Guterres has called on all staff to pay tribute to the fallen by “continuing their mission,” and keep going to “dangerous places with the aim of making them safer”.

‘Unconscionable’ to kill aid workers, civilians: UN Emergency Coordinator

Remembering all the humanitarians killed in the line of duty just ahead of World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations relief chief on Friday, renewed the call for civilians and aid workers everywhere to be better protected.

Terror attacks strike people ‘from all walks of life, the UN included’

The terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003 that claimed the lives of 22 people should serve as a reminder that the organization’s locally recruited staff often face the greatest dangers in the world’s most hostile places, amid increasing attacks on humanitarians, the head of the United Nations in Geneva said on Thursday.

News in Brief 18 August 2017 (AM)

Security Council expresses solidarity with Spain following Barcelona attack

The UN Security Council has condemned the terrorist attack in Barcelona which killed 13 people and wounded more than 100 others.

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Humanitarian aid a "fantastic investment," says UN relief chief

Providing humanitarian aid today to the world’s needy is a “fantastic investment” in the future.

That’s according to the UN relief chief, Stephen O’Brien, speaking ahead of World Humanitarian Day, marked each 19 August.

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