Statement by Administrator Rajiv Shah on the Crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

For Immediate Release

Friday, July 18, 2014
USAID Press Office
+1.202.712.4320 | Email: | Twitter: @USAIDpress

We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of 298 people, including infants, who were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. As reports continue to come in, it is clear that we lost close friends in the global health community who were on their way to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Our hearts are broken. These talented and bright professionals dedicated their lives to achieving an AIDS-free generation, and there is no question that their work contributed to saving millions of lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and colleagues, many of whom will gather in Melbourne next week with a fierce new determination to carry on the work of our fallen friends.

Ten years ago, AIDS was considered a death sentence. Thanks to the remarkable work of these individuals and their colleagues, that sentence has been lifted, and every day, we get closer to realizing the shared vision of an AIDS-free generation. When we do, our thoughts will return to those who lost their lives yesterday, whose life-long achievements inspired us to reach higher towards extraordinary goals.