x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The cost of life: payments for civilians killed in Afghanistan

What Nato and foreign forces pay out for civilian deaths in the Afghan war.

United States

With 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, the United States pays up to US$2,500 (Dh9,175) for civilian deaths. Payments above that are rare. Field commanders have significant control over payouts and sometimes US forces pay even if it is unclear who was to blame.

United Kingdom

Britain has around 9,500 soldiers, mainly in Helmand province. British forces have paid between $210 and $7,000 for deaths. From 2007-2010, London paid 1,142 claims totalling more than $1.2 million - about $100,000 was paid for injuries and $150,000 for deaths. The rest was for damages claims.


Berlin, with 4,700 troops in Afghanistan, has no set policy for giving assistance to civilians harmed in operations. In August 2008, Germany paid $20,000 and a car worth $5,000 to a family after its troops shot dead three family members at a checkpoint.


In May 2009, Italy paid about $13,500 to a family of a 14-year-old girl killed at a checkpoint. Italian forces do not have a standard policy for paying victims. It has almost 4,000 soldiers in the country.

Other countries

Norway made a payment of $8,000 to a family of someone killed by its forces in 2009. Australia, the largest non-Nato troop contributor, disbursed around $120,000 for four incidents involving one or more deaths or injuries from 2001 through May 2009. Poland pays up to $2,500. The Dutch, who have withdrawn most soldiers, have paid about $475,000 for civilian losses from 2006 to 2010 and were responsible for at least 80 deaths and 120 injuries.