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WFP mourns the loss of 7 dedicated humanitarians

ROME – The World Food Programme is in mourning for seven WFP staff members who lost their lives in the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy yesterday.

As we confront this terrible loss, we reflect that all 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 in. That was their calling, as it is for the rest of the WFP family.

  • Ekta Adhikari (28) from Nepal, whose duty station was Addis Ababa
  • Maria Pilar Buzzetti (30) from Italy, duty station Rome
  • Virginia Chimenti (26) from Italy, duty station Rome
  • Harina Hafitz (59) from Indonesia, duty station Rome
  • Zhen-Zhen Huang (46) from China, duty station Rome
  • Michael Ryan (39) from Ireland, duty station Rome
  • Djordje Vdovic (53) from Serbia, duty station Bangkok, on assignment to Rome

We also mourn the loss of our colleagues at other United Nations agencies and all of those who died in the crash. Among them was Victor Tsang, a former employee of WFP who moved to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). We ask that everyone keep those who lost loved ones in their thoughts and prayers.

A statement was issued yesterday evening by WFP Executive Director David Beasley following the air crash.

WFP staff photos

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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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Executive Director


For more information please contact (email address:

Peter Smerdon, WFP/East Africa, Tel: +254 20 762 2179, Mob. +254 707 722 104

Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 2321, Mob. +39 346 7600521

Herve Verhoosel, WFP/Geneva, Mob. +41 79 842 8057

Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-653-1149, Mob. +1-202-774-4026

Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob.  +1-202-770-5993

Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 (0)20 3857 7411, Mob. +44 (0)7968 008474