UNHCR has been tackling with the operational challenges posed by security risks in Pakistan for some time. Despite the difficult security environment, they had continued their work in the region helping some 2 million internally displaced Pakistanis.
UNHCR staff member Aleksandar Vorkapic was killed alongside another colleague from UNICEF and three from UNFPA in Pearl Continental blast last week. Mr. Vorkapic, 44, had volunteered for emergency response roster and was deployed to Pakistan last month, along with a team of other specialists, to help the hundreds of thousands of displaced people in north-west Pakistan. He was the second UNHCR staff member to be killed in less than five months in Pakistan. He was a Serbian national, leaves behind a wife and three children. He had worked as an information technology specialist in UNHCR’s office in Belgrade since 2000.
We as a nation are devastated by this irrational loss and convey our deepest condolences to his family. His sincere efforts and dedication can never be forgotten by Pakistani nation.
In the wake of this recent attack, however, the organization is reviewing the way it operates and assessing what adjustments need to be made to ensure the safety of its staff.
“There is no question of pulling out, We are committed to helping the millions of displaced people in the region. Our operations have continued this week, and we have been working with our partners to register new arrivals in camps and to improve conditions – installing fencing, shades over tents and privacy walls. We intend to remain responsive to humanitarian needs and flexible in how we deliver them.”
Spokesman William Spindler told journalists in Geneva.
Pakistan and its people are thankful to UN and its agencies working for the IDPs. There efforts in this regard are invaluable and praiseworthy. I therefore salute all these efforts by not only UNHCR, but every organization and individual who had worked for this cause of great value for Pakistan. Those who had lost their live will remain in our hearts.