August 19 is World Humanitarian Day recognizing those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. The date marks the 2003 bombing of the UN embassy in Baghdad when Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 others lost their lives. A national of Brazil, Vieira de Mello had served in the UN for over thirty years in some of the most challenging humanitarian situations.
In 2006 the Vieira de Mello family and a group of close friends founded the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation dedicated to promoting dialogue between communities and relieving the plight of victims of humanitarian crises. The Foundation awards an annual award to distinguished humanitarian workers.
The 2018 winner of the Vieira de Mello Humanitarian award was Basil Kerski, director of the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk and editor-in-chief of Dialog, a Polish-German bilingual monthly magazine.
The 2019 winner is yet to be announced.