Margaret Hassan was one of 30 ‘CARE’ staff working in the Baghdad office of the world’s largest humanitarian relief agency.She started working there soon after the office opened in 1991 and is now the director of the charity’s operations in Iraq. She has been strongly critical of past and current military action – saying United Nations’ sanctions have left the Iraqi people in a worse position than at the end of the Gulf War. Last year she warned the British government Iraq faced a humanitarian catastrophe if invaded. Harold Walker, the British Ambassador to Iraq in the early 1990s, hopes the kidnappers will release a woman dedicated to helping those in need: “Margaret has done an enormous amount for the Iraqi people, so let’s hope the kidnappers, whoever they are, realise this, realise that Margaret’s heart is with the Iraqi people and let her go,” he said. There are fears that her kidnapping will prompt the aid agency to withdraw from Iraq altogether. It has temporarily suspended its operations and is waiting for developments, but says it wants to continue its work in the war-ravaged country.