A Thoughtful, Analytical Approach to NGO Security

Aid Worker Fatalities Pages

Over the past couple of years there has been a fair bit of interest in and speculation on the causes of fatalities amongst aid workers and the humanitarian community. Unfortunately there has been a lack of readily available information on which to base assessments. These pages and the database on which they are based are an attempt to rectify this problem.

Please note that the database is not complete. There are gaps in some years, 2006 in particular. The database is also subject to reporting bias. Incidents that affect national humanitarian organizations in non-english speaking countries tend not to be reported in the English international press and therefore may not be included.


All the data used to support these charts and the maps is available in raw form on the aid worker fatalities database page. The incident data is derived from media reports, organization press releases, published studies, and other publicly available sources.


Below you will find links to maps that provide a geographical view of the data in the aid worker fatalities database.

Aid Worker Fatal Incidents 2009
Aid Worker Fatal Incidents 2004 - 2007

Are INGO's placing national staff aid workers at greater risk than international staff? Certainly national staff fatalities account for roughly 73% of aid worker violent deaths listed in this database. Unfortunately we really can't answer the question yet as we currently haven't distinguished between aid worker deaths in INGOs and deaths in national NGOs.
90% of the fatal incidents recorded are the result of intentional violence. A mere 10% of the incidents are accidental in nature.
Politically or conflict motivated killings and ambushes combined accounted for over half of all aid worker fatalities due to violence.

A glossary that explains the various categories of fatal incidents in this chart is available here.

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