Humanitarian Aid

It takes a village to support people in crisis

On 19 August 2003, a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Five years later, the General Assembly designating 19 August as World Humanitarian Day (WHD). This year we shine a light on the hundreds of thousands of volunteers, professionals and crisis-affected people who deliver urgent health care, shelter, food, protection, water and much more. Because, as the saying goes: #ItTakesAVillage to support people in crisis.

Around the world, #ItTakesAVillage for humanitarians to deliver life-saving assistance every hour of every day.
WHO has published its first guidelines for Ebola virus disease therapeutics, with new strong recommendations.

WHO recommends two new lifesaving medicines to treat Ebola

19 August 2022 — The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for countries to improve access to two lifesaving Ebola medicines, in its first guidelines on the viral disease, published on Friday...

UN chief to rich nations: ‘Open wallets’ and ‘hearts’ for developing countries to purchase Ukrainian grain

19 August 2022 — UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for wealthier countries to help developing nations purchase Ukrainian grain as supplies begin returning to global markets, in an...

Guterres: World Humanitarian Day salutes ‘the best in humanity’

19 August 2022 — The hundreds of thousands of aid workers globally who dedicate their lives to assist people in need represent “the best in humanity”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in...

UN Sustainable Development Goals

17 Goals to transform our world

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries — poor, rich and middle-income — to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

Act Now

The ActNow campaign aims to trigger individual action on the defining issue of our time. People around the world have joined to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.

children holding up books

Reading and learning are essential to children’s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. The SDG Book Club aims to encourage them to learn about the Goals in a fun, engaging way, empowering them to make a difference.

Thomas the Tank engine

Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals! On our student resources page you will find plenty of materials for young people and adults alike. Share with your family and friends to help achieve a better world for all.

SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth


Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all


More from the
United Nations

Featured stories from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

Girl painting a billboard Youth, UNDP

Their future, their turn - youth are shaping our world

1.8 billion young people, the largest generation of youth in history, are transitioning to adulthood. Their education and opportunities will shape the future of the world. Today’s young generations are still bearing the scars of a global financial crisis and enduring the impacts of an entrenched and inherited climate crisis. They are coming of age during a pandemic on a scale not seen in generations, which has pushed more than 1.5 billion students and youth out of schools and universities due to lockdowns. Paradoxically, they are the most prepared and highly entrepreneurial generation.

Infographic with nuclear powerplants Atomic Energy, IAEA

What Makes Nuclear Energy Safe?

Brown coal is far more deadly than nuclear energy, causing 32.7 deaths per unit of electricity produced, with nuclear energy causing only 0.03 deaths. Fukushima Daichi was serious accident, but according to the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) no one died from radiation exposure as a result. Nuclear powerplants today have improved safety thanks to the implementation of “defence in depth”, which is having multiple independent barriers between the source of radiation and the outside ensuring the public are protected even if one of the barriers fails.

Birds-eye view of African city with skyscrapers SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, UNOPS

Critical role of sanitation infrastructure in African cities

By 2050, the Word Economic Forum predicts that over 1.3 billion people in Africa will call a city home. As urban areas continue to grow, the burden on already struggling sanitation systems will become much too heavy. As newcomers arrive in already crowded urban areas, they often settle in informal settlements that lack access to basic services like sanitation, negatively impacting the people living there. Ensuring sanitation infrastructure can adequately deal with current needs and cope with future demands is vital. Existing waste management systems and infrastructure need to be adapted.

Humanitarian Aid, UNHCR

5 things you should know about Afghanistan

Over the past year, parts of Afghanistan have become safer, but the country is in the grip of a humanitarian crisis. Here are five things to know about Afghanistan and how UNHCR is trying to help.

Agriculture and Food, FAO

Better livestock production acts against climate change in Uruguay

FAO approached producer organizations in Uruguay to assess individual farms and help implement climate smart strategies that encourage the regrowth of vegetation and the return of biodiversity.

Climate Change, UNEP

How countries can tackle devastating peatland wildfires

Jacqueline Alvarez, head of the UNEP Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, talks about the drivers of peatland wildfires and what can be done to limit their spread next year.

Displaced Persons and Refugees, IOM

Healing and Justice for the Yezidi Community

The lives of survivors from the Yezidi community have been irreparably changed by unimaginable horrors. Eight years after ISIL’s heinous acts, IOM questions: how does a community heal?

What we do

Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, including:

Structure of the
United Nations

The main parts of the UN structure are the General Assembly, the
Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN. All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.

The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members). Each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Economic and Social Council is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals.

The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the UN Charter, under Chapter XIII, to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed under the administration of seven Member States, and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence.

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations not located in New York (United States of America).

The Secretariat comprises the Secretary-General and tens of thousands of international UN staff members who carry out the day-to-day work of the UN as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organization's other principal organs.

Learn more

The Middelgrunden Off Shore Windturbines located in the Øresund Straight separating Denmark and Sweden. UN Photo

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it. There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society.

Women at UN CSW63 Side Event - “Take the Hot Seat”. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. Gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is greeted on his visit to the Central African Republic

While global poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 2000, one in ten people in developing regions still lives on less than US$1.90 a day — the internationally agreed poverty line, and millions of others live on slightly more than this daily amount.

young children smiling at camera

The UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020 arrived at a time of great upheaval and peril. To secure a world where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet we need a multilateral system that is inclusive, networked and effective. "Our Common Agenda" builds on the 12 commitments contained in the UN75 Declaration.

Watch and Listen

Video and audio from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

Opened on 28 July 2012 and still home to 80,000 people, Za’atari refugee camp has become a symbol of the long-running Syrian refugee crisis. Read the full story from UNHCR.

An indigenous entrepreneur in tune with Mother Earth

After successfully reclaiming her people’s territory in Quebrada de Humahuaca, Northern Argentina, Celestina Ábalos turned to tourism to share and promote her indigenous culture. ILO entrepreneurship training during the COVID-19 pandemic helped her business to grow. See the full story on ILO Voices.

Intergenerational solidarity to address the world’s daunting challenges

For International Youth Day, UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem, calls for a world where everyone at any age has rights, choices and opportunities to fulfill their potential and promise.

UN Podcasts

Adiba Qasim visits Lalish, a Yazidi holy site in northern Iraq, in 2016 with Hani and Evan, whose fathers were killed by ISIS fighters.

Life After Islamic State - bitesize episode

"We were surrounded by the Islamic State. And we had no weapons even to fight. We had nothing. We were left alone."

Adiba Qasim has shown extraordinary courage and resilience. She narrowly escaped when her village was stormed by Islamic State militants who killed and enslaved thousands of Yazidis. This is her story.

Returning to northern Iraq in 2015, Adiba threw herself into humanitarian work, aiding survivors who had been enslaved by the militants. In this special bitesize episode she reflects on the horrors she witnessed, on battling survivors’ guilt, and on her motivation to help others.

Latest Audio from UN News

The United Nations in Pictures

Images from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

A woman carrying a cooler walking across flooded rice fields.
Photo:UNICEF & U.S. CDC / Ngakhusi

The challenging journey to reach Nepal's hillside communities with vaccines

In a remote corner of far-western Nepal you see communities in the distance, perched on top of the hills. Bringing vaccines to the children and families that live in remote communities often requires steep climbs and navigating treacherous roads and a strong cold chain. The cold chain refers to a series of precisely coordinated events in temperature-controlled environments to store, manage and transport the doses. To facilitate this, UNICEF has been working closely with Nepal’s government and key partners, to expand and strengthen the country’s cold chain capacity.

A smiling girl about to bite a biscuit.
Photo:WFP / Sayed Asif Mahmud

ShareTheMeal: WFP app marks 150 million meals milestone

The principle is simple: give what you can – whether it’s one meal or one year of meals – and know that it makes a difference. In US dollars, a meal supplied by the WFP costs around 80 cents – less than the price of a cup of coffee. By July, the official donation app of WFP reached a milestone: 150 million meals served – welcome news as WFP responds to the record hunger of 2022. This year WFP aims to reach 152 million people and is calling for US$22.2 billion to do so – with as many as 828 million people around the world who go to bed hungry every night, every penny counts.