A study from the the British Overseas Development Institute gives us some stats at the increased threat that aid workers face. We learned of the study from this Reuters article written by Patrick Worsnip
Last year, 260 aid workers were victims of violent attacks, according to the British-based Overseas Development Institute. Some 122 of them lost their lives against 36 deaths in 1998.
"The 2008 fatality rate for international aid workers exceeds that of U.N. peacekeeping troops," the group said in a recent report.
It said there had been a particular upswing in kidnapping of humanitarians, which jumped 350 percent in the past three years, with expatriates preferred to nationals as they brought higher ransoms and a "more visible political statement."
The three most violent countries for aid workers are Sudan, especially the Darfur region, Afghanistan and Somalia, it said. This year has already seen killings and other violent acts in Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines and Sudan.
Somalia, scene of a two-year insurgency led by Islamist militants against the government, has one of the highest per capita incidents of aid worker attacks in the world, U.N. officials say. So far in 2009, eight aid workers have been killed and 13 remain in captivity since 2008.