All of us at CARE are offering our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the humanitarian workers slain in Afghanistan, and to everyone at the International Rescue Committee. The loss is keenly felt by every humanitarian worker around the world.
It was with particular sadness we learned of the deaths of Shirley Case and Jacqueline Kirk. We are proud and privileged to have had them on our CARE Canada team in the past. We knew them. We worked with them. They were part of our family. Both will be greatly missed by the entire CARE family.
These sad events serve to remind us all of the dedication of those performing humanitarian work overseas, often in the most dangerous of environments. Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous and volatile countries for aid workers, with more than 19 killed in the last year alone. Yet dedicated women and men continue to devote themselves to the humanitarian imperative to help people survive and make progress in the impoverished country.
This tragedy also highlights another very important issue in humanitarian work today: the growing role of women, both as the deliverers and the beneficiaries of humanitarian assistance. Shirley Case, Jackie Kirk and Nicole Dial were strong women, out building a better world for other women. Their goal was to give the girls of Afghanistan an equal opportunity for education, to give them an equal share in the future of their country. Women hold the key to ending global poverty. CARE honours the memory of Shirley, Jackie, Nicole and all the women who live, and those who have died, for that belief. CARE will continue to work for the ultimate realization of their dream: the empowerment of all women everywhere.
CARE stands with the IRC and other humanitarian agencies in honoring Shirley, Jacqueline, Nicole and Mohammad Aimal, who lost their lives, and in condemning the continuing violence and destruction in Afghanistan. We call on the international community to renew its commitment to protecting humanitarian space. Without safe passage, aid groups cannot continue to help the people of Afghanistan to raise themselves up out of poverty.