Aid and health worker safety and security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (January – June 2020)

Between January to June 2020, Insecurity Insight’s monitoring identified over 78 events where aid or health workers were killed, kidnapped, injured, or assaulted (KIK), and 103 events where health facilities were damaged or destroyed. This document provides an overview of developments that have affected the safety and security of aid and health workers in the first half of 2020. There are some distinct patterns emerging.
The COVID 19 pandemic has led to a rise in health workers experiencing threats and violence
• As the pandemic spread and, in particular, as lockdowns were enforced, increasing numbers of health workers experienced threats and assaults from patients and their families, and security forces enforcing lockdowns. 69 health workers were killed and 34 kidnapped by armed groups, state forces and relatives of patients. The number of reported incidents declined in June, three months after the pandemic was officially declared. Most of the affected health workers work within national structures and are not directly connected to the international aid sector. Only 20% of affected health workers worked in structures connected to international aid, which likely constitutes an over representation as events affecting aid agencies are more frequently reported. The COVID 19 pandemic has not markedly changed the long-term trends of critical incidents in which aid workers were killed, kidnapped or injured
• In response to the pandemic, many international aid workers were repatriated and local aid workers reduced their movements, which resulted in a decline in the overall number of aid security events. However, critical events continue. The average number of reported critical events per month and average number of affected aid workers per month recorded since the start of the declared pandemic are only slightly below the long-term average. Attacks by non-state actors on the aid sector increased in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many aid agencies report that their general health programmes have not seen a rise in reported violence against health care.

Source: Insecurity Insight

You May Also Like