Following ongoing clashes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 8,000 people have left South Kivu since January 24 and are taking refuge in south-western Burundi. Of the refugee population, 65% are children, many of whom are unaccompanied and are particularly at risk of violence or abandonment.
Humanity & Inclusion (which works under the operating name “Handicap International” in Burundi) is assessing the needs of the most vulnerable and planning to launch an emergency response.
“The needs of refugee populations, whose numbers are increasing, are considerable,” explains Patrick Kelders, Humanity & Inclusion’s Head of the Great Lakes projects in Africa. “We need funding to plan for the launch of an emergency response in order to help the most vulnerable people.”
Some of the refugees were transferred to camps in Cankuzo, Songore, and Nyabitare. Humanity & Inclusion, working in the country for the past 25 years, is currently assessing the presence of refugees in Makamba province.
Our teams travelled to the province of Rumonge with the NGO Terre des Hommes to assess the needs of the affected populations. There, we found a crucial lack of access to basic services, including housing, food, and water.
In addition, refugee populations need non-food relief items such as blankets, mosquito nets, mattresses, and cooking equipment. Reduced access to sanitary facilities (bathrooms, etc.) has increased the risk of cholera epidemics.
Stay tuned for more information about our emergency response in the coming days.
Our work in Burundi
Present in Burundi since 1992, HI helps ensure people with disabilities have access to basic services and rehabilitation and are involved in their social and economic environments. Learn more about our work in Burundi.
by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).