Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has expressed her delight and relief at the news of the release in Mali of Albert Vilalta and Roque Pascual from the NGO Barcelona Acció Solidària. These two Catalan aid workers were kidnapped in Mauritania almost nine months ago by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) with another colleague who was released in March.
The Commissioner has reiterated the EU's commitment to ensuring the security and protection of humanitarian workers. This will be endorsed in September when the European Union presents a draft resolution to this effect to the United Nations. Delivering aid to victims of natural disasters and conflicts saves lives and relieves suffering. Aid workers must be allowed to operate without the threat of violence.