Press: Are Aid Agencies Ready to Deal With War, Terrorism, and Crime in Cities?

  • 2016•05•31

    John de Boer and Robert Muggah were published in Thomson Reuters Foundation. Below is an excerpt.

    War is back. After a half-century decline, the frequency and intensity of armed conflicts is on the upswing. The number of civil wars around the world increased sharply over the past five years. The number of people violently killed a year tripled, driven largely by deadly conflicts unfolding in cities across Syria and Iraq, but also in Afghanistan, Ukraine and Yemen. More people are being forced to move than ever before: there were at least 60 million refugees and internally displaced people in 2015.

    Terrorist violence is also on the upswing. But when it comes to the risk of dying from terrorism, Brussels, Paris, London and New York are the outliers. The bulk of terrorist victims over the past year were concentrated in just 20 cities in Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. Major urban centers like Baghdad, Karachi and Mogadishu are widely known targets while cities such as Ramadi and Baaquoobah in Iraq, Al-Kamisli and Al-Raqqh in Syria, and Maiduuri and Kismaayo in Nigeria and Somalia are even more dangerous.