When the United Nations and Red Cross headquarters in Baghdad were destroyed a few weeks apart in 2003, the events shocked the world.

Today, attacks on aid groups - such as Wednesday's assault on Save the Children in Afghanistan - generate far fewer headlines.

Similar attacks have gone from being "unconscionable" to "regrettable but expected". Relief organisations were attacked 158 times in 2016 alone. Total number of aid workers killed was 101, 98 were wounded and 89 kidnapped.

The Aid Worker Security Report says the numbers represent a three-fold increase since 2003. The highest profile examples involve attacks by groups such as the Taliban.

But there are also cases of local governments refusing to cooperate, being difficult to work with or of military forces - whether local or international - refusing to treat humanitarian groups as neutral.

Why have things changed so dramatically over the last 15 years? Is there a way to return to the status quo? And was that era as smooth as we seem to remember?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


David Sedney - Former deputy US assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan & Pakistan

Mari Aftret Mortvedt - South Sudan representative, International Committee of the Red Cross

François Delfosse - Doctors Without Borders

Source: Al Jazeera News