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Zomi Frankcom (World Central Kitchen)

Caritas Australia has joined other Australian humanitarian agencies in condemning the rising aid worker death toll in Gaza following the deaths of seven international aid workers who were killed while working for the World Central Kitchen.  

The agencies include Oxfam Australia, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, Save the Children Australia, ActionAid Australia, Plan International Australia, and Care Australia, as well as the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).  

Australian Zomi Frankcom was identified as one of the seven killed. The United Nations reports 174 of its staff have been killed since October, with some of the named agencies also mourning their own colleagues.  

The World Central Kitchen workers were part of an international effort to address the food crisis threatening the lives of millions of Palestinians, created by blockages to the supply of aid, especially in the north of Gaza. The UN reports that about 70 aid missions were impeded, denied, postponed, or withdrawn during March. Since October 7, 348 health workers have also been killed and 155 health facilities damaged, with 13,000 children among the 32,623 fatalities.  

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese denounced the World Central Kitchen deaths as unacceptable and demanded accountability from the Government of Israel, sentiments echoed by Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

The humanitarian agencies are urging the Australian Government to use all diplomatic means available to ensure Israel complies with International Humanitarian Law and the International Court of Justice, and to advocate for the release of all hostages. 

Caritas Australia CEO Kirsty Robertson said: “Inside Gaza civilians are experiencing suffering on a mass scale. The injured lack access to basic medicines and pain relief and parents are watching their children starve. 

“The psychological toll of this conflict is set to leave an unprecedented and tragic legacy on Gaza’s young population, over half of whom are under 15 years old. 

“Protecting humanitarians as they try to alleviate some of this suffering is the bare minimum that we should expect as international community, and a human family.” 


Caritas Australia joins humanitarian agencies in condemning aid worker deaths (Caritas Australia)