NEW YORK/ HONG KONG , 18 January 2014 – 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.