Islamabad - The United Nations’ (UN) World Humanitarian Day will be observed on August 19 to honours all humanitarians who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause, and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty.

It aims to increase public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation.

Many communities and organizations try to increase the importance of humanitarians by distributing publicity and information material.

More than 700 humanitarian workers have died or experienced the most dangerous situations while trying to help those in need. World Humanitarian Day was established by the General Assembly of the UN in December 2008 and was first observed in August 2009.

The total number of people affected by natural disasters has increased over the past decade, and about 211 million people are directly affected each year. Women and children are especially affected because of their ongoing struggles with poverty, insecurity, hunger, poor health and environmental decline.

Around the world, conflict is exacting a massive toll on people’s lives. Trapped in wars that are not of their making, millions of civilians are forced to hide or run for their lives. Children are taken out of school, families are displaced from their homes, and communities are torn apart, while the world is not doing enough to stop their suffering. At the same time, health and aid workers - who risk their lives to care for people affected by violence - are increasingly being targeted.