Three weeks after the attack against an Action Against Hunger / Action Contre la Faim (ACF) vehicle at the end of December, killing French aid worker Agnes Dury and seriously injuring another aid worker, ACF has decided to suspend its programs in Burundi.
The circumstances surrounding the attack and the motive for it remain unclear. What is certain is that this was a deliberate attack. Following this tragic event, ACF carried out a detailed analysis of the context to assess the risks of continuing its activities. This risk assessment showed that current security conditions do not allow for a resumption of ACF’s activities in the country.
ACF has therefore decided to close its programs in Burundi. This decision has been extremely difficult in view of the scale of humanitarian needs in the area, but ACF does not feel it can guarantee the safety and security of its staff in the current security context.
Regarding ACF’s life-saving programs for the treatment of acute malnutrition, ACF had already been integrating these activities into existing public health structures. This process was started some months ago and will be finalized in the next few days to ensure that treatment continues. ACF’s other crucial programs, however—our psycho-social activities, water and sanitation programs, and food security initiatives—will unfortunately be suspended.
ACF is deeply shocked by this brutal crime. Despite the suspension of its activities in Burundi, ACF will closely follow the judicial investigations into the crime. An investigation is currently under way in Burundi and the French judicial system has also appointed a prosecutor to investigate the case.