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Is Terrorism an Issue for Humanitarian Agencies?

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Analysis
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Perspectives 3, issued by Security Management Initiative
SMI is part of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)

Christina Wille & Larissa Fast

I. INTRODUCTION

THE EFFECT OF TERRORISM ON AGENCIES’ ACCESS AND ACTIVITIES

Should aid workers be concerned about terrorism? With reports of terrorism regularly appearing in the news, this question is a pertinent one for aid agencies. In May 2010 the Security Management Initiative (SMI) at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) convened a group of experts and international aid/humanitarian agency practitioners to consider the impact of ‘terrorism’ on the work of humanitarian agencies. In support of this theme, Insecurity Insight used its global Security in Numbers Database (SiND) of events affecting the delivery of aid for empirical evidence to address this question. The SiND is being built in partnership with humanitarian agencies and umbrella organisations and brings together information on a wide range of incidents or threats of violence affecting aid workers and aid delivery, from the most severe to generalized insecurity and threats of violence. (...)