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Statement on the loss of two NRC staff in Ethiopia

Published 12. Mar 2019
It is with great distress that the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) confirms the deaths of two of our colleagues among those killed on the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft that crashed en route to Kenya on Sunday morning.

Clémence Boutant-Willm and Sam Pegram were highly valued and respected members of our team, based in Geneva but working to reach people affected by humanitarian crises around the world. Clémence and Sam were travelling to Nairobi this week to facilitate training for our partners on negotiating humanitarian access. We are feeling this loss acutely.

NRC condoles with the families of Clémence, Sam, and all who lost their lives in Sunday’s tragic accident. We are mindful of the very significant impact of this accident on our colleagues, the humanitarian community, and on people in Ethiopia and Kenya, who may have been adversely affected. 

A note on our colleagues:

Clémence Boutant-Willm was our very warm and incredibly committed Project Manager for Access and Negotiations Capacity Building. Her work with NRC, and other humanitarian organisations before us, promoted principled humanitarian action and safe access to aid for people in crises around the world. She has been a pragmatic, humble and extremely competent colleague; highly principled, ethical and kind. Clémence is an enormous loss to us, both because we valued her professional skill and because we loved her as a person. We grieve her loss and extend deepest sympathies to her husband, daughters, family and friends.

Sam Pegram represented the high-calibre of people drawn to work in our field. He was among our youngest staff, employed as our Humanitarian Policy Assistant and quickly drawn into sophisticated work that used his intellect, insight and agility. Sam came to our team with a passion for the Middle East, obvious talent, and a genuine desire to do good. He made our days so much brighter with his warmth, witty sense of humour, friendliness and enthusiasm. We are devastated by the loss of a thoughtful and capable colleague who had an unquestionably promising future. Sam was exceptional. We feel profoundly sad for his parents, brother, family and friends; we are mourning with them.