Afghanistan: UN condemns killing of British aid worker

Robert Watkins, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan

10 October 2010 – The United Nations on Sunday condemned the killing of British aid worker Linda Norgrove, stating that her death is a loss to the people of Afghanistan whom she served as well as her colleagues in the humanitarian and development community.

“She was a true advocate for the people of Afghanistan and was dedicated to bringing improvements to their lives,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator Robert Watkins said in a statement. “Her spirit and compassion will be greatly missed.”

Ms. Norgrove, who was kidnapped in the eastern province of Kunar last month, was reportedly killed during a failed rescue mission conducted early Saturday.

“The increasing violence which targets humanitarian and development workers, as well as civilians in Afghanistan is unacceptable,” stated Mr. Watkins, who is also deputy envoy with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Ms. Norgrove's work in Afghanistan included assignments with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on biodiversity conservation issues and road projects, among others. She worked closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Environmental Protection Agency.

“However, Linda's commitment to Afghanistan was not limited to her work,” noted Mr. Watkins. “She had a genuine interest in the country, fluent in Dari and learning Pashto, travelling extensively and building lasting friendships with her international and Afghan colleagues alike.”

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