27 Aug 2020
Celebrating humanitarians around the world

World Humanitarian Day on 19 August was a celebration of humanitarians around the world who dedicate their time and skills to improving the lives of those most in need.

In a time when responding to humanitarian disasters has been made more difficult by the threat of COVID-19, the UN theme for World Humanitarian Day was #RealLifeHeroes. The global campaign focused on humanitarians on the front line – using their time and skills for the benefit of humanity.

Of course, humanitarian crises do not stop in the face of COVID-19 and on top of one of the worst pandemics in 100 years, we also honoured those humanitarians providing assistance to communities affected by disaster and conflict around the world.


This year has been a year to remember. COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge to humanitarian operations and continues to affect all corners of the globe.

Before the pandemic, the UN predicted that in 2020 a record 168 million people worldwide would need humanitarian assistance and protection. That is 1 in 45 people on the planet.

The pandemic has compounded existing needs and created new challenges. Aid workers are having to overcome unprecedented hurdles to assist people in humanitarian crises in 54 countries, as well as a further nine countries catapulted into humanitarian need by the pandemic.


At each stage of the disaster cycle, humanitarians work tirelessly to help communities prepare, withstand, and recover from disaster and conflict.

Here at RedR Australia, we would like to take the opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to humanitarians globally, with a special mention to the incredible people who deploy through our humanitarian roster.

We would also like to thank everyone who supports RedR Australia, helping us to provide humanitarian assistance when and where it is needed the most. A special thank you to our partners, host organisations, and funders for their ongoing support.


Critical humanitarian work is primarily delivered by our local partners, so on World Humanitarian Day we also wanted to honour the #RealLifeHeroes who too often don’t get the recognition they deserve. We asked RedR Australia deployees to nominate people they work alongside in local communities.

Muhammad Mohiuddin (Mohi) with WFP in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh was nominated by roster member Michelle Sanson. 

Hanan Kanash, Chief of the Teaching and Learning Division at UNRWA was nominated by roster member Mayada Elsabah. 

Tissu Das, a Warehouse Manager for WHO in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh was nominated by roster member Navjavon Mazabshoev.

Karishma Narayan, Humanitarian and Resilience Officer with UN Women in Fiji, was nominated by roster member Jessica Walker.

Click here to see more from #WHD2020.

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