AFGHANISTAN, 4 June 2004 - The Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, said that she was shocked and saddened to hear of the murder of five MSF workers in Afghanistan. Speaking from New York, Ms Bellamy extended condolensces to the families and colleagues of the victims on behalf of all UNICEF employees. The two organisations often collaborate on humanitarian relief projects throughout the world.
Ms Bellamy said that the deaths of the five humanitarian workers is another grim mark in the erosion of freedom of movement for aid workers. "This type of work has always involved a degree of danger," said Bellamy. "But this is an unbearably painful price for all of us. The increase in dangers to humanitarian workers in the past three years is acute."
"Any attack on the humanitarian community is an attack on the very basis of reconstruction in Afghanistan and does nothing to serve the interests of the Afghan people," Bellamy added. " Today UNICEF stands in solidarity with our friends at MSF, and while naturally concerned for the safety of all humanitarian workers in Afghanistan, remains committed to our shared desire of seeing a strong, prosperous Afghanistan in which the rights of all citizens are upheld."