United Nations, Aug 18: Ahead of World Humanitarian Day on August 19, the UN has warned that 2023 is set to become another year of high numbers of aid worker casualties.
So far this year, 62 humanitarian workers have been killed in crises around the world, 84 were injured and 34 kidnapped, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said, citing provisional data from the Aid Worker Security Database research team at Humanitarian Outcomes. Last year’s annual death toll had reached 116.
South Sudan has ranked highest in insecurity for several consecutive years. Forty attacks on aid workers and 22 fatalities have been reported as of this week.
Sudan is a close second, with 17 attacks on humanitarians and 19 fatalities reported so far this year.
This toll surpasses numbers not seen since the height of the Darfur conflict between 2006 and 2009.
Other aid worker casualties have been recorded in the Central African Republic, Mali, Somalia and Ukraine.
Last year, 444 aid workers were attacked. The previous year, 460 humanitarians were attacked, resulting in 141 deaths.
This year’s World Humanitarian Day also marks 20 years since the 2003 suicide bomb attack on the UN headquarters in the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 UN staff.