Feature story

World Humanitarian Day: celebrating people helping people

19 August 2011

Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world. World Humanitarian Day, marked on August 19, is an opportunity to celebrate people helping people.

In conjunction, the 2011 World Humanitarian Day campaign has partnered with the United Nations Department of Public Information to launch the 3rd annual Citizen Ambassadors video contest from 8 August 2011 to 8 September 2011.

The campaign gives an opportunity for anyone to pitch their best idea on how to change the world to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon. The winners will win a trip to New York and the chance to pitch their idea in person to the Secretary General.

HIV in humanitarian situations

Conflict and humanitarian crisis put people at elevated risk of HIV infections. However, the factors that determine HIV transmission during these extreme situations are complex and depend on the context.

For example, mass displacement may lead to the separation of family members and the breakdown of community cohesion and of the social and sexual norms that regulate behaviour. Women and children may be used by armed groups and be particularly vulnerable to HIV infection as a result of sexual violence and exploitation. Rape may be used as a means of warfare.

The United Nations Security Council recently adopted resolution 1983 /2011 on HIV and preventing sexual violence in conflict.

The resolution calls for increased efforts by UN Member States to address HIV in peacekeeping missions. It also calls for HIV prevention efforts among uniformed services to be aligned with efforts to end sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings.

UNAIDS works together with civil society and other UN partners to, among other things, provide guidance on HIV in emergency settings. To find out more, visit the website HIV in Humanitarian Situations.