Humanitarian staff security in armed conflict: Policy implications resulting from changes in the operating environment for humanitarian agencies


Insecurity Insight Policy Brief

Christina Wille and Larissa Fast

The number of aid workers killed and injured has risen to unprecedented levels in recent years. In 2011, the deadliest year on record for aid worker fatalities and injuries so far, on average one aid worker was injured every three days and one killed every five days. This represents a three-fold increase in deaths and a six-fold increase in injuries since 2001, when the death of an aid worker was reported every two weeks and injuries to a staff member every five weeks.1 Numbers of fatalities and injured personnel increased noticeably after 2006 (see figures 1 and 2). Some of the increase may be due to advances in information technology, more consistent incident reporting, and greater awareness of security issues. The overall trend, however, is not in doubt.