19 UN staff died in Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

During the Sunday Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max – 8 plane crash, 19 UN staff died, says the UN Department of Safety and Security in Kenya.

The plane was heading to Nairobi Kenya when before it was crashed six minutes later of its departure from Bole International Airport. There were a total of 149 passengers and 8 crew members. The World Food Program (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) have also lost their lives tragically.

The cause of the disaster is not yet known, although weather conditions were reportedly good and the plane went down in a field near Bishoftu, around 35 miles southeast of the capital.

The UN is in contact with the Ethiopian authorities and “working closely with them to establish the details of United Nations personnel who lost their lives in this tragedy” the Secretary-General stated.

The disaster happened on the eve of the UN Environment Assembly when Heads of State, environment ministers and thousands of others will convene for five days in the Kenyan capital.