Necessary Risks

Professional Humanitarianism and Violence against Aid Workers

  • Abby Stoddard

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Abby Stoddard
    Pages 45-86
  3. Abby Stoddard
    Pages 87-112
  4. Abby Stoddard
    Pages 113-134
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 167-175

About this book


Attacks on humanitarian aid operations are both a symptom and a weapon of modern warfare, and as armed groups increasingly target aid workers for violence, relief operations are curtailed in places where civilians are most in need. This book provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges to humanitarian action in warzones, the risk management and negotiation strategies that hold the most promise for aid organizations, and an ethical framework from which to tackle the problem. By combining rigorous research findings with structural historical analysis and first-person accounts of armed attacks on aid workers, the author proposes a reframed ethos of humanitarian professionalism, decoupled from organizational or political interests, and centered on optimizing outcomes for the people it serves.

Abby Stoddard is an international humanitarian policy analyst and former aid worker. She is a founding partner of the research group Humanitarian Outcomes, where she advises governments and international agencies on issues in humanitarian action, with a particular focus on risk and operational security for aid operations.


humanitarianism foreign aid conflict international organization terrorism state failure risk

Authors and affiliations

  • Abby Stoddard
    • 1
  1. 1.Humanitarian OutcomesNew YorkUSA

Bibliographic information