United Nations, Mar 11 : The United Nations Secretary-General was deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing more than 150 people on board.
An Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday crashed shortly after takeoff from the capital Addis Ababa, killing 157 people on board including 19 UN staffs.
Many senior UN officials took to Social Media to express their condolences and sadness. On Twitter, José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO,) sent his “heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families”, saying that one FAO staff member was among the victims.
Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley tweeted that “the WFP family mourns today”, adding that “we will do all that is humanly possible to help the families at this painful time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers”, he said. In a statement issued later in the day, he said Mr Guterres had called him "to express his solidarity and support for the WFP family, and I want to thank him and all of the others around the world for their expressions of condolences."
"As we mourn, let us reflect that each of these WFP colleagues were willing to travel and work far from their homes and loved ones to help make the world a better place to live. That was their calling, as it is for the rest of the WFP family," he added.
Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General tweeted his "sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the plane crash" Noting that two ITU staff were on the flight, he said "Our colleagues in Addis are providing support to their families during this difficult time."
“All of us at UNICEF mourn the tragic loss of our UN colleagues and all those who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash today. May they rest in peace. Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones”, Henrietta H Fore, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund, tweeted.
On behalf of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), whose Headquarters are in Nairobi, Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif tweeted here “deepest condolences and prayers to the Great Nation of Ethiopia and to the families of the passengers and crew members who lost their lives in this tragedy. May they rest in eternal peace”.
High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi issued a condolence statement saying “UNHCR has suffered today a huge loss”.
IOM Director-General António Vitorino issued a statement expressing his deep sadness over the lives lost, “including a young IOM staff member Anne-Katrin Feigl”, who “was en route to a training course in Nairobi as part of her role as a Junior Professional Officer”.
Catherine Northing, Chief of the IOM Mission in Sudan where Ms Feigl worked, called her “an extremely valued colleague and popular staff member, committed and professional”, saying “her tragic passing has left a big hole and we will all miss her greatly”.
As a mark of respect IOM said it would “fly its flag at half-mast at its offices tomorrow, as will the UN and its agencies”. (UNI)