Pakistan mission continues despite bombing

PAKISTAN, 12 June – A MapAction team member in Pakistan  had a lucky escape on the 9th June when she was caught in the terrorist attack on the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar.

Anne Frankland was in the city for one night, training United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) personnel on data collection methods for use in the current emergency in North West Frontier Province.

Anne had just gone to bed when the blast shattered the windows of her room and blew down the door. She survived with only minor injuries but five humanitarian agency staff died in the blast.

She said about the event: “The air was full of dust, it was hard to see. The building was rumbling and I thought it was going to collapse. Afterwards, our WFP colleagues really looked after me and the Pakistani people have been very warm, caring and concerned.”

Anne returned to Islamabad where she is continuing her MapAction mission in support of the Logistics Cluster. Two other MapAction team members are also deployed in Pakistan, where more than 2 million people have been affected by conflict between the government and insurgent groups in the north-west of the country.

Anne is an experienced member of MapAction and it is her second time in Pakistan, having deployed there in 2005 following the Kashmir earthquake disaster.

MapAction’s Operations Director Nigel Woof said: “This appaling attack slaughtered both Pakistani and international humanitarian staff who are working to help people in desperate need. We’re obviously deeply relieved that our team member escaped relatively unscathed but our thoughts are also with those who have lost colleagues and family.”