United Nations marks World Humanitarian Day with Aug. 19 semipostal issue
By David Hartwig
The United Nations Postal Administration will issue three semipostal stamps Aug. 19 to mark World Humanitarian Day, with the surtax on the stamps going to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
The United Nations established Aug. 19 as World Humanitarian Day in 2008, five years after a bomb attack killed 22 humanitarian aid workers at the U.N. office in Baghdad on Aug. 19, 2003.
This attack, one of the deadliest in the history of the United Nations, was also the first time a neutral international humanitarian organization had been deliberately targeted in this way, according to an Aug. 18, 2018, article posted to the United Nations’ news website.
The United Nations designated Aug. 19 as World Humanitarian Day to pay tribute to humanitarian workers and to express solidarity with those whom the humanitarian workers help.
“Each year, World Humanitarian Day brings together partners from across the humanitarian system to raise public awareness of humanitarian work; to advocate for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises; and to call for the safety and security of aid workers,” the UNPA said in its philatelic bulletin Fascination.
The World Humanitarian Day issue includes a different pane of 10 stamps for each U.N. post office.
The $1.40+50¢ semipostal stamp for the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City shows two figures hugging.
Individuals stand below two large clasped hands in the design of the 2-franc+50-centime semipostal stamp for the post office at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Large hands surround people standing near a structure and an enlarged seedling in the design of the €1.80+€0.50 semipostal stamp for the post office at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.
Olga Shtonda, an artist and illustrator from Ukraine, provided the art for the stamps. Shtonda studied graphic arts at Kharkiv Design and Arts Academy in Ukraine. In 2019, she had the opportunity to obtain a master’s degree in Italy after winning the Ars in Fabula grant award.
On her website, Shtonda says that humans and nature inspire her work. She adds that she likes to make people smile.
Rorie Katz of the United Nations designed the stamps using Shtonda’s artwork.
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