August 22, 2015:
It continues to get more dangerous for foreign aid workers, especially in places like Afghanistan and Syria. Afghanistan has long been the most dangerous place for aid workers and 2014 was one of the worst years. Worldwide 329 foreign aid workers were attacked. Some 36 percent were killed (sometimes after being kidnapped) and 37 percent were kidnapped and, for most of them, later released. Most of the violence is related to local gunmen (bandits, rebels, Islamic terrorists or warlord militias) seeking to obtain aid supplies or cash from the aid organization. It’s the old extortion racket and if the victims don’t cooperate there is often retaliation.
The risks of injuries for foreign aid workers are still much less than Western troops and UN peacekeepers experience in the same areas, but the troops are trained and equipped to deal with this sort of danger while the aid workers are not. The problem is that in many areas foreign aid is seen as a good source of income by bandits, Islamic terrorists and corrupt local officials. There is no easy way to change that.