It is with profound sadness that the United Nations Development Programme announces the recent passing of our dear friend and colleague, Anil Raj, an American national in Kabul, Afghanistan, this week.
Anil was travelling with two colleagues back to the UNDP office when their vehicle was attacked and Anil was tragically and senselessly killed.
Anil was known and loved by so many in the UNDP family, who had worked with him during his time with us whether in South Sudan, Myanmar and Afghanistan. Anil’s co-workers and managers speak of his passion for his work and his dedication and determination to help people less fortunate across the world.
Anil’s friends and colleagues remember a man that was always smiling, always supportive and always considerate. They knew him as calm and respectful, with a passion for building peace in countries in some of the most difficult places in the world, often afflicted by conflict and crisis. They remember, too, a friend who loved to cook and to entertain his many friends at his home.
Anil was a team leader, and a young and promising talent. His Resident Representative in Afghanistan, Abdallah Al Dardari, called him “exceptional by all standards”.
Anil’s career with UNDP took him around the world. He spent more than two years working on crisis prevention and recovery in South Sudan, leaving at the end of 2015. In 2018, he worked again with UNDP on poverty reduction in Myanmar. His latest assignment to Afghanistan, which had only begun recently, was his second post working for UNDP in the country. Previously he had worked on the rule of law programme in Afghanistan for more than two years. He had also worked in Colombia with UNDP, in 2009 and 2010.
There is no doubt that Anil made a very real difference in the lives of so many people across the world. His work improved the lives of some of the most vulnerable populations and is a legacy that will always be remembered.
UNDP and the entire United Nations family will miss Anil dearly, especially his kindness, generosity and humility. Our deepest condolences are shared with his family.