Summary: 4 January 2008, Brussels - Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, has reiterated his concern for the safety of humanitarian aid workers, following recent events in Burundi and Somalia.
He said: "In Burundi, right at the end of the year, we learned that a staff member of Action Contre la Faim had been shot dead and another wounded in a machine gun attack on their car. I fully condemn such hideous acts and extend my sincere condolences to the family. There was more positive news from Somalia where two aid workers from Médecins Sans Frontières were released after a week in captivity. Both incidents, however, highlight the hazardous conditions facing relief organisations as
they strive to help the world's most vulnerable people." Mr Michel also warned that attacks and kidnappings had a direct effect on the delivery of humanitarian aid. "Insecurity often prevents relief agencies reaching those most in need compounding the misery for many crisis victims".