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Statement of UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on the loss of a staff member in the Peshawar blast

2009-06-09

NEW YORK, 9 June 2009 - “UNICEF is greatly saddened by the death of a much-loved colleague, Perseveranda So, as a result of the bombing of the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar today.

 “Persy, as she was known to her colleagues, had worked for UNICEF since 1994.

“She was a dedicated and highly committed staff member, who worked with grace and determination as Chief of Education in Pakistan, earning the respect and admiration of all those with whom she came into contact.

“She was in Peshawar, a dangerous and difficult environment, helping implement programmes to assist girls in gaining access to the education they so desperately need.

“She will be greatly missed by her colleagues at UNICEF. Our hearts go out to her family and friends, in her home country of the Philippines and around the world, who share our loss.

“At the time of the bombing, the hotel was housing many humanitarian workers there to provide life-saving assistance to Pakistan’s most vulnerable people. This is an attack on the very humanitarian principles to which Persy was dedicated, and it is reprehensible and unacceptable.”

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.