Two Afghan Aid Workers Found Dead in Helmand

A view of downtown Baghran in the Afghan province of Helmand. Two female aid workers were found dead in Helmand. Photo by: U.S. Army

Two female aid workers were killed in the province of Helmand in southern Afghanistan, according to a spokesperson for the provincial governor.

The two were Afghan nationals who managed a jam production initiative for women, Reuters reports. Their bodies were found Sunday (Oct. 31) in the Marjah district two days after they went missing, Dawud Ahmadi said according to the news agency.

The pair’s death is the latest in a string of violence against aid workers in Afghanistan. It follows the kidnapping and death of British aid worker Linda Norgrove in the Kunar province.

“We do not know who killed them or why,” Ahmadi said about the newest tragedy.

Taliban-led militants are reportedly active in the district where the two bodies were found but no group has claimed responsibity for the aid workers’ death.

Threat to aid work

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross has warned that the increase in the number of armed actors poses a threat to humanitarian operations in Afghanistan.

“We are entering a new, seemingly more murky phase in the conflict in which the multiplication of armed actors threatens the ability of humanitarian organizations to access people in need,” Bijan Fredric Farnoudi explained to IRIN.

Medecins Sans Frontieres has aired a similar concern.

“The intensity of the conflict has increased and spread to more regions, so when more fighting is going on there are more fighters, more commanders and more people that we have to deal with in order to maintain the safety of our beneficiaries and staff,” Michiel Hofman, the group’s head of mission, was quoted by IRIN.

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.