19 Aug 2009

UN marks first humanitarian day

10:11 pm on 19 August 2009

The United Nations is holding its first ever World Humanitarian Day on Wednesday to honour international aid workers and their efforts.

The UN hopes the event will focus attention on aid workers and increase support for their role.

Aid staff are working in increasingly dangerous environments and are frequently targets of attacks, it says.

Last year 122 international aid workers were killed, a death toll that was higher than that for UN peacekeeping troops, the BBC reports.

The inaugural World Humanitarian Day falls on the sixth anniversary of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, in which 22 workers died.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the UN in in New York to remember the victims of the 2003 attack.