Today, emergencies are more complex than ever before and their numbers are rising. The expertise of humanitarian workers – and their sensitivity to the needs of the people they are aiding – has unquestionably increased. But while progress has been made in providing relief, the long-term rebuilding process has been endangered by the targeting of aid workers, the underfunding of vital aid projects and the inability of humanitarian workers to reach many areas.
The problem in Somalia, for example, as in other nations, has been compounded by the deliberate murder of aid workers, which has led to heightened restrictions for humanitarian agencies and, consequently, increased deprivation for those most in need. Over 200 UN personnel lost their lives to violence between January 1992 and March 2002. Hundreds more were taken hostage, raped and otherwise assaulted.