The death of Prescott, Arizona, native Kayla Mueller while being held hostage by ISIS has led to increased concern nationwide over the dangers that come with humanitarian work overseas.
“What we are asking people to do is always be aware of your surroundings, (because) aid workers have unfortunately and heartbreakingly become a target,” American Red Cross spokesperson Trudy Thompson-Rice said.
About 200 Red Cross volunteers have gone missing or died in recent years, according to Thompson-Rice. She said the brutality of terrorist organizations like ISIS has driven potential volunteers away from humanitarian work.
“We are seeing more of our volunteers be victims of terrorism,” she said.
While the majority of Americans who serve the needs of others throughout the world return safely after volunteering, Thompson-Rice said some tragically never make it back.
“But what we are asking people to do is continue to support those who are doing humanitarian work, because our world needs it; as these activities against aid workers ramp up, the need ramps up as well,” she said.