A Day in the Life of a Humanitarian Aid Worker

Whether it’s inside Syria, South Sudan or Yemen, they are there to help people facing the worst moments of their lives despite immense pressure and potential danger.

Every year on World Humanitarian Day, August 19, CARE recognizes humanitarian aid workers around the globe who are committed to helping families affected by violence or natural disasters.

To do so, we asked members of our teams inside Syria, Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and the Philippines to share a “day in the life” diary perspective. (Links to full stories at bottom)

The stories provide a rare insight into the daily realities of CARE’s aid workers. It shows the immense pressure under which humanitarians deliver emergency assistance and the personal sacrifices they often have to make, especially in conflict-torn and remote areas.

For most, working as a humanitarian professional is more than just a job. It’s a mission and a passion.

“Being a humanitarian aid worker is extremely challenging. Many colleagues live under harsh conditions; they work in refugee camps or in areas destroyed by natural disasters,” says Philippe Guiton, humanitarian operations director for CARE International.

“Often, if not on a daily basis, humanitarians witness people’s suffering, they listen to the traumatic stories of those who have been affected, they empathize with those they assist. Many have to leave families and friends behind, working far away from their homes.”

On August 19, 2003 a brutal attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad killed 22 people, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello. World Humanitarian Day is held on August 19 to honour those aid workers who risk their lives to provide humanitarian assistance.


CARE Canada manages the CARE International rapid emergency response team and also coordinates humanitarian projects worldwide. CARE has Canadian spokespeople available to discuss life as a humanitarian and the challenges aid workers face.
To arrange an interview, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada | 613-228-5641

A Day in the Life of Seven Aid Workers

A gender in emergencies specialist in the midst of crisis around Lake Chad

A health worker navigates the remote swamps of South Sudan

A midwife gives crucial advice in a refugee camp in Uganda

Against all traditions: A female aid worker provides clean water in Yemen

Bracing for impact: A disaster risk reduction specialist in the Philippines

An emergency programme manager saves lives in drought-hit Somalia

A midwife treats women in Northern Syria