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Swiss say aid workers need better protection

A Somali kidnapper points a gun at two International Red Cross aid workers in Mogadishu in 1998 Keystone

Switzerland has asked that personnel involved in humanitarian missions in conflict zones benefit from more effective security measures. The appeal was made at the 2000 session of the United Nations' Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

“The men and women who work in the field are the most precious contributors to humanitarian projects,” said Charles Rädersdorf, head of the Swiss Disaster Relief Corps. “The international community must therefore make sure these people can do their jobs in the utmost safety.”

Rädersdorf said the financial means had to be made available to guarantee that the personnel would be free from harm, and said more effective forms of communication needed to be instituted between field workers and UN headquarters.

He also reissued a plea for member countries to honour their responsibilities in allowing aid organizations access to the victims of conflicts, and said more money needed to be made available for people displaced within their own countries.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR