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Philippine Government awards presidential citation to WFP staff member killed in Algiers

The Philippines Government today awarded a Presidential Citation to Gene Luna, a Filipina staff member of the United Nations World Food Programme, who died during the tragic bombings in Algiers last month.

Gene was a positive and compassionate woman, and always had a smile for her co-workers. In her life and in her death, she embodied the best of the United Nations and of the Philippines.
Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Representative in the Philippines
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo presented the award to Luna’s family on behalf of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The award cites Luna, “for performing the tasks dedicated to humanity, even in the face of terrorism…for constantly supporting fellow workers in their daily struggles and challenges…for offering her last moments to the goals of her institution, and showing the courage and strength of the Filipino in the face of death.”

Honoured

“We are pleased and honoured by the citation that the President has awarded to our cherished staff member,” said Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Country Director and Representative in the Philippines.

“Gene was a positive and compassionate woman, and always had a smile for her co-workers. In her life and in her death, she embodied the best of the United Nations and of the Philippines.”

Afghanistan

Luna’s sister Lillian and her two nephews received the posthumous award. Luna, 48, joined WFP in Afghanistan as a finance officer five years ago.

She is one of 17 United Nations staff members killed during the bombing of UN offices in Algiers. In 2007, 36 humanitarian workers serving WFP around the world were killed, injured or detained.