A targeted, yet dramatic rise in kidnappings, attacks and killings of civilian aid workers is prompting some organizations working in crises zones to consider and implement new methods of keeping humanitarian personnel safe and able to continue carrying out their work.
Funding isn’t a main barrier blocking aid organizations from ramping up their training and protection, according to humanitarian aid security specialists and non-governmental liaisons. But the ability to successfully implement funding and training, building on communication lines in potentially remote and volatile areas, remains a challenge for some disconnected aid groups.
“Donors are very well aware that in order for humanitarian organizations to access populations in crisis environments and insecure, violence-prone environments, they need to have the capacity to manage these requirements and that requires resources,” said Oliver Behn, coordinator of the European Interagency Security Forum.
EISF serves as a security network to 50 non-governmental groups based in 14 countries; all of its partner organizations have “ramped up” their security measures in the past few years, Behn told Devex.
Amy Lieberman is a Devex correspondent and freelance journalist based in New York, where she has focused her coverage on the United Nations and global health. Her work has appeared in Women's eNews, IRIN, Policy Innovations, Europa Newswire and The New York Observer, among other publications.