World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day marks the day, ten years ago, when 22 aid workers were killed by a terrorist attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. Ten years on, aid workers continue to face targeted or indiscriminate attacks while delivering aid on the frontlines.

ODI researchers look at the challenges the humanitarian sector faces in working in dangerous and insecure environments.


A day to honor Syria’s humanitarian workers

Comment | 19 August 2013 | Sara Pantuliano
Aid agencies need to rethink how they calculate the risks to the lives of local aid personnel, and seek to extend the same duty of care to local staff and international aid workers to ensure that as many humanitarian aid workers as possible stay alive when trying to...
Read and comment

Paradoxes of presence: Risk management and aid culture in challenging environments

Research reports and studies | March 2013 | Sarah Collinson and Mark Duffield with Carol Berger, Diana Felix da Costa and Karl Sandstrom
This publication reflects on the increasing presence of humanitarian agencies in insecure environments and risk management – and the fundamental tension between ‘staying’ and ‘staying safe’. It argues for efforts to broaden and deepen the risk agenda beyond the...

Remembering the humanitarians

Comment | 14 August 2012 | Ashley Jackson
'The murder of an aid worker and the attack on the ICRC in the past few days will add to the toll of casualties remembered on World Humanitarian Day this year... it will again raise the question of who will remain to carry out the aid work, memorably described as...
Read and comment