On Sunday, March 10, an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, killing all on board.
Based on news reports, the Boeing airliner bound to Nairobi, Kenya, was carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members, from more than 35 different countries. The plane reportedly took off at 8:44 am local time, losing contact with air traffic control at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa six minutes later.
According to the UN Department of Safety and Security in Kenya, 19 UN staff perished in the crash. The World Food Programme (WFP) lost seven staff, the Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) lost two, as did the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sudan, World Bank and UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) each lost one staff member. Six staff from the UN Office in Nairobi (UNON) were also tragically killed.
The disaster happened on the eve of the UN Environment Assembly, which starts today in Nairobi and is to convene Heads of State, environment ministers and thousands of others for five days.
Our thoughts are with the families of all affected and we will work with the UN administration to make sure the necessary assistance is provided to them.