World Humanitarian Day: Celebrating #OurLocalHeroes

World Humanitarian Day, celebrated on 19 August every year, recognises the work of the thousands of humanitarian workers worldwide who are delivering vital aid to communities in need. 

Since 1964, Caritas Australia has been committed to supporting vulnerable communities worldwide, working alongside our partners to build on existing local strengths and resources so that communities can drive their own development. As a member of Caritas Internationalis, one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world, we are also able to reach where the need is greatest and work together for a just future.   

"Caritas staff are always there, everywhere in the world, at every moment: before, during, and after the crises," says Aloysius John, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. "They are both alongside and part of the communities, providing not only humanitarian relief, but also working for sustainable development, peacebuilding, and social cohesion. They offer their services, and even their lives, for the cause of the human person."

This year, we are honouring #OurLocalHeroes, celebrating the work of our dedicated partners who are tackling ongoing crises across this world during 2022. 


Caritas Ukraine and other Caritas agencies in neighbouring countries continue to provide urgent aid to displaced people. Photo credit: Caritas Ukraine

The war in Ukraine continues to be marked by devastating loss, with civilian casualties rising to over 12,000 people and close to 1,000 children. Civilian infrastructure in Ukraine continues to be targeted, including water supplies, gas and electric supplies, hospitals, and homes.  

With your support, Caritas Ukraine and other Caritas agencies in neighbouring countries continue to provide urgent aid to displaced people, assisting more than 1.3 million people since the conflict began: 

  • More than 311,915 displaced people received food and 74,419 individuals received clean water 
  • At least 17,352 people were able to access safe accommodation across 293 centres 
  • More than 23,069 people accessed basic family medicines and 229,957 people received hygiene supplies 
  • Approximately 18,685 people accessed psychosocial support services, including vulnerable children 

Support people facing disaster and fleeing violence today.  


Afghanistan. Photo: Shutterstock

The combined factors of economic collapse, long-term drought and a brutal winter have left the people of Afghanistan in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. 

CRS, our partner in Afghanistan, is currently responding to the crisis, providing: 

  • Emergency cash assistance to more than 8,000 families. 
  • Training on livestock management practices to help reduce disease, improve livestock health, and increase milk production. 
  • Education for 3,791 of the most marginalised girls and boys in rural Afghanistan.   
  • Access to education for 2,287 girls and boys.  
  • Advanced learning programs for 650 older, out-of-school children. 

Your generous donation today means our partners in Afghanistan can respond quickly and efficiently to support vulnerable communities during this crisis. 


Bute is a village elder living in Southern Ethiopia. Photo credit: Zacharias Abubeker

Communities across eastern Africa face hunger caused by conflict and one of the worst droughts in 40 years. As international food and fuel prices skyrocket because of COVID-19 and the conflict in Ukraine, vulnerable families are being left behind.  

Many of the most vulnerable face hunger and even starvation after another year of failed crops, forcing them to slaughter or sell any remaining livestock.  

Our Caritas partners on the ground in countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Eritrea are supporting communities by providing: 

  • Emergency Food Rations 
  • Safe, clean water 
  • Emergency cash transfers 
  • Supporting families forced from their homes by conflict  

Your donation can help supply urgent aid and assistance to vulnerable communities affected by the food crisis.  


Caritas Australia is working with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Tonga to respond to crises. Photo Credit: Caritas Tonga

The volcano eruption and tsunami in 2021 affected 84% of Tonga's population. Many homes in coastal areas were inundated with seawater and some small islands were completely flooded. Telecommunications were completely cut off for more than one month. 

Caritas Australia is working with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Tonga to respond, with funds raised providing:  

  • Access to clean water through the provision of water carrying containers and water tanks. 
  • Training for community counsellors to support people who have been affected and are recovering from disasters. 
  • Replenishment of Caritas Tonga's emergency relief supplies so they can be distributed quickly and efficiently to people in need when disaster strikes. 
  • COVID-19 essentials including Face masks, sanitiser, critical training, and community awareness raising. 

Caritas Tonga is also working with the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and Tongan National Youth Council to distribute stock. 

Give what you can today to help communities get the emergency support that they need to recover from natural disasters and crises.  



Streets flooded in Bangladesh. Photo credit: Associated Press - Abdul Goni

The floods in Bangladesh and India earlier this year have impacted the lives of millions who are already at risk of disasters.  

Torrential rain and flash flooding have affected millions of vulnerable families across India and Bangladesh. Many communities in Bangladesh became submerged, with the electricity supply system collapsing in several districts.  

The floods in India significantly impact communities' access to clean and safe water, as families cannot generate the power needed to filter water. Livestock and farmlands have also been impacted. 

Our partners Caritas India and Caritas Bangladesh are responding to support flood-affected communities that need immediate assistance through: 

  • Access to clean water. 
  • Emergency shelter for displaced families. 
  • Cash transfers for vulnerable households. 
  • Food rations for flood-affected families. 

Your generous support can help provide emergency support to help families recover and rebuild from disaster. 

The perseverance and dedication of our partners to help vulnerable communities worldwide constantly inspires us. Their ability to provide short-term and long-term assistance is only strengthened by the ongoing support of incredible supporters like you. 

This World Humanitarian Day, please consider making a donation to help create a better future for all.  

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