Press Release

World Humanitarian Day 2023

18 August 2023


Field visit to Nagrak, Salahuni in Cianjur, with PMI beneficiaries for cash assistance
Caption: Field visit to Nagrak, Salahuni in Cianjur, with PMI beneficiaries for cash assistance

(Jakarta, 17 August 2023): Ahead of World Humanitarian Day on 19 August, the United Nations today warned that 2023 is set to become another year of high numbers of aid worker casualties. 

20 years after deadly attack on UN in Iraq, humanitarian workers remain
committed to help, #NoMatterWhat, despite growing risks.

So far this year, 62 humanitarian workers have been killed in crises around the world, 84 have been wounded and 33 kidnapped, according to provisional data from the Aid Worker Security Database research team at Humanitarian Outcomes. Last year’s annual death toll reached 116.

South Sudan has ranked highest in insecurity for several consecutive years. Forty attacks on aid workers and 22 fatalities have been reported as of 10 August.

Sudan is a close second, with 17 attacks on humanitarians and 19 fatalities reported so far this year. This toll surpasses numbers not seen since the height of the Darfur conflict between 2006 and 2009.

Other aid worker casualties have been recorded in the Central African Republic, Mali, Somalia and Ukraine. Last year, 444 aid workers were attacked. The previous year, 460 humanitarians were attacked, resulting in 141 deaths.

This year’s World Humanitarian Day also marks 20 years since the 2003 suicide bomb attack on the UN headquarters in the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 UN staff. Some 150 more people – local and international aid workers helping to reconstruct Iraq – were also injured on that dark day.

The challenges faced by Indonesia as a hazard-prone country will remain. Our social capital to work together (gotong royong) is key to further improving the nation’s resilience to disasters of various scale and magnitude. Social conflict, extreme weather events and other related climate risks and  the residual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to require a holistic and coordinated approach from the humanitarian community, government counterparts, civil society and vulnerable communities.

Despite security and access challenges, humanitarians of all stripes are campaigning this year to highlight their continuing commitment to deliver for the communities they serve, no matter who, no matter where and #NoMatterWhat.

In the face of skyrocketing humanitarian needs, the UN and its partners aim to help almost 250 million people in crises around the world – 10 times more people than in 2003.

The commemoration of World Humanitarian Day highlights the importance of multistakeholder cooperation in humanitarian efforts to continue adapting to present a better world.

This year’s commemoration of World Humanitarian Day on 19 August 2023 is jointly organized by UN OCHA, in cooperation with UN in Indonesia, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, BNPB, and the Ministry of Social Affairs with the support of other government stakeholders , NGOs, interfaith organizations, and in collaboration with PT Integrasi Transit Jakarta.

Media contacts:
Ronaldo Reario, UNOCHA, 0852-1994-2819

Siska Widyawati, UNIC, 0878-8488-5489


UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Goals we are supporting through this initiative