Ahmad Mohamed Noor, an Islamic Relief Worldwide aid worker, has been shot and killed in Somalia this week.
Responding to the news, Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross which also lost an aid worker abroad a fortnight ago, warns that the work of voluntary sector aid workers is becoming increasingly dangerous.
In a statement released yesterday, Islamic Relief Worldwide said Noor, who was working as a project co-ordinator in Baidoa, Somalia, was shot and killed in a small village called Mursil by unidentified gunmen on Wednesday. He was leaving the mosque after offering the evening prayers. The motive for the killing remains unknown.
A spokesman for the charity said: “It is with deep sorrow and regret we announce the death of our collegue, Ahmad Mohamed Noor. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends and colleagues. Our deepest condolences go out to Ahmad’s family.”
It is the second murder of an aid worker in recent weeks. Around a fortnight ago, British Red Cross aid worker Khalil Dale was murdered in Pakistan. Dale had worked for the British Red Cross for over 30 years.
Dangers for aid workers
Speaking at Acevo’s 25th anniversary lecture last night, Sir Nicholas Young said life was becoming increasingly difficult for the international aid world:
“If you can’t get safe access to the vulnerable in dangerous countries you can’t support and play your part,” he warned.
“Needs are growing, conflict is increasing and it is becoming more dangerous for the voluntary sector working to support those in some of the most dangerous and vulnerable parts of the world.”
In response to a speech by Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, which warned of society creating a “forgotten Britain”, Sir Nicholas said it was also important to encourage the growth of strong civil society organisations in other parts of the world.
Sir Stephen, in his speech, warned that the spectre of cuts and hardening public attitudes to charities that rely on public funding could lead to a “forgotten Britain”, where the plight of those with mental health, or the homeless, would become invisible to much of society.
Sir Nicholas noted that it was not just about “forgotten Britain,” but also about a “forgotten rest of the world” too.
Sir Nicholas was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award at the Charity Awards last year.