The United Nations is holding its first World Humanitarian Day in an attempt to increase support for relief workers as well as call attention to the growing dangers they face. In 2008, 122 international aid workers were killed, a far higher death toll than that suffered by UN soldiers.

Today was selected because it is the sixth anniversary of the bombing of the UN headquarters in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, which killed 22 UN staff, including the organisation’s special envoy Sérgio Vieira de Mello.

This afternoon UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York, where a wreath will be laid in commemoration of the victims of the Baghdad attack.