UNICEF mourns death of Dr. Peter Salama

Statement by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director

24 January 2020
Peter Salama with children

NEW YORK, 24 January 2020 – “The entire UNICEF family is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Dr. Peter Salama from a heart attack in Geneva. 

“Pete was a tireless advocate for children, a committed humanitarian and a highly respected professional. 

“He was an inspiring and caring leader across a number of roles within UNICEF, as Chief of Health and Nutrition in Afghanistan, as Representative in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, as Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa in Jordan, as Global Chief of Health and HIV and as Global Ebola Coordinator in New York.

“Pete left UNICEF in 2016 to join the World Health Organization as Executive Director of its Health Emergencies Programme before becoming Executive Director of its Division of Universal Health Coverage - Life Course. 

“All of us who had the privilege of working with Pete knew that he embodied the spirit of UNICEF like few others.

“Our most heartfelt condolences to his wife, his three children and all his friends and colleagues around the world. He will be sorely missed.” 

Media Contacts

Juliette Touma

Regional Chief of Communications

UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office

Tel: 00962798674628

Najwa Mekki


Tel: 0019172091804


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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