Nepali among 19 UN staff killed in Ethiopian crash

A Nepali working for the United Nations World Food Programme is among the 157 people killed in the second crash on 10 March of a new model Boeing 737 in five months.

The flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi came down shortly after takeoff from the Ethiopian capital on Sunday morning. It was carrying people of 35 nationalities, many them travelling to attend the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

The Nepali was identified as Ekata Adhikari (pictured below), and she worked as a Supply Chain Officer at the WFP office in Ethiopia, and was flying to Nairobi to take part in a meeting of her agency.  

The UN said 19 UN staff perished in the crash. The World Food Programme lost seven of its staff, two staffers of the Office ofHigh Commissioner on Refugees and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) were among the staffer. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Organization for Migration in Sudan, World Bank and UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) each lost one staff. Six staff from the UN Office in Nairobi were also killed. 

Adhikari, originally from Gorkha, worked for WFP in Nepal and later in Papua New Guinea. She had taken up the job in Addis Ababa only in September last year. She had worked for WFP for nearly four years. 

The UN  Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives” , as reports emerged that UN staff were also among the dead.

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.

Read also:

What can Nepal learn from Ethiopia, Kunda Dixit 

Individual tragedies, and a national loss, Monika Deupala

1 year after US-Bangla crash, fingers point to pilot, Kunda Dixit

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