UNICEF staff member dies as a result of Nigerian terrorist attack

28 December 2011

Another United Nations staff member has died as a result of the suicide bombing that struck the world body’s offices in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, four months ago.

Fred Simiyu Willis, an employee of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), died on 23 December in South Africa, where he had been on medical evacuation after the blast, the agency confirmed today.

The Kenyan national had worked for the agency in Abuja since September 2004, serving as a health specialist focused on vaccine security, supply and logistics.

Mr. Willis’ passing takes the UN death toll from the terrorist attack on 26 August to 13, with 12 non-UN staff also killed.

Kate Donovan, a spokesperson for UNICEF, said the agency was deeply saddened by the death of Mr. Willis, whom she described as a “very dedicated” employee.

“It’s a loss for the children of Nigeria and for all of us,” she said, noting that Mr. Willis’ efforts had helped to ensure immunization campaigns across the large African country.

“Our deepest condolences go out to his family and to his colleagues… He was a very highly valued member of the staff.”

The UN Country Team in Nigeria also offered its condolences and voiced gratitude to the people and authorities of the country for their support since the attack.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Death toll of UN staff from Nigerian terrorist attack rises to 12

The toll of United Nations staff members killed by the suicide bomb attack in August against its offices in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, has risen to 12 with the death of one of those critically injured, bringing the overall death toll to 24.