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UNICEF statement on the loss of staff members in the Kabul bombing

2014-01-18

Less than one year ago, UNICEF paid tribute to colleagues who have lost their lives for the sake of a better future for all children, with a memorial at UNICEF House.  Today, with great sadness and anger, we must add two more names to that list of heroes. 

Ms. Basra Hassan, Nutrition Specialist and Dr. Nasreen Khan, Health Specialist, died in the tragic attack on a restaurant in Kabul, on the evening of 17 January 2014. The depth of our shock and sorrow at receiving this news — and the magnitude of our outrage over this senseless violence — is difficult to measure. 

These colleagues were an integral part of the UNICEF team in Afghanistan and the larger community of international staff, some of whom also perished yesterday in Kabul, who are dedicated to improving the lives of others and building a better, safer world for all.  The loss of our colleagues is therefore not only a personal one; it is a loss to that indispensable cause.  We honor their sacrifice, and deeply mourn their deaths.

As we all come to terms with this terrible loss, the families of our fallen colleagues have asked us to respect their privacy at this difficult time. UNICEF stands united in our condolences and sympathy for the families and loved ones of our staff, and in our determination to continue the work that our colleagues gave their lives for.

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About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries – more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.

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.