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Fairfield, Conn. (July 3, 2015) — The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday, July 1, announced in Dar es Salaam that it was expecting the number of Burundian refugees in Tanzania to increase from the current 70,000 to between 250,000 and 500,000 as a result of the continued volatile situation related to the presidential elections in Burundi, scheduled to be held on July 15.
Persistent fear of an upsurge of violence during the electoral period, has resulted in increased numbers of new arrivals crossing the border into neighbouring countries in the last one week. More than 10,000 refugees have crossed the border into neighbouring countries since the previous weekend.
Author: Kizito Makoye
DAR ES SALAAM, July 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The short video that Matilda Kasele plays on her phone shows water rushing into her house, submerging all her belongings.
Those images are all that she and her family have left of their home after a barrage of floods in May destroyed the building and all their belongings.
Read the full article
This season’s crop performance was poor across much of southern Africa, particularly in the region’s surplus-producing areas. Preliminary estimates indicate that national maize harvests in South Africa and Malawi were the lowest in more than five years. However, as a result of above-average carry-over stocks from the 2014/15 marketing year, aggregate regional supply is expected to be near average. Countries with significant production deficits this year, including Malawi and Zimbabwe, will likely experience an early start of the lean season and limited food access for poor households.
Brazzaville, 2 July 2015 - As members of an EU/WHO/ACP partnership* to improve access to quality medicines meet in Brazzaville, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, praised progress made and called for greater commitment to ensure that Africans have access to the quality, affordable medicines they need.
By Eliane Luthi
Responding to an outbreak of cholera among Burundians who fled to Tanzania, UNICEF helps health workers track and monitor new cases through mobile phone technology.
KABONGA, Burundi, 1 July 2015 – “It was on the Monday that we came back that she started to feel sick,” remembers Uziya Nyabenda, speaking of her daughter, Esta. “On Wednesday she began having heavy diarrhea and vomiting, so we brought her to the health centre. I suspected it was cholera – and I was afraid.”
By Caroline Haga, Finnish Red Cross
“There have been so many stories that have really touched our hearts,” says Zuleka Aiden, Tanzania Red Cross Society staff member, who has heard countless accounts of the Burundi refugees’ difficult journeys to safety.
Tanzania has been the host to hundreds of thousands of Rwandese, Burundians and Congolese refugees. Currently there are about 65,000 refugees from DRC, in Nyarugusu camp. Tanzania Red Cross Society provides comprehensive health services (preventive and curative) to the refugees in Nyarugusu camp and the host communities. The Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS) has been running the camp based health facilities/clinics in Nyarugusu camp for over 10 years.
· Over 6,000 Burundians arrived into Tanzania over this past weekend ahead of parliamentary elections in Burundi. This brings the total influx of new Burundian refugees into Tanzania since end-April to over 66,000, making the need to identify a location for a new camp even more imminent.
· Discussions on this between UNHCR and the Government of Tanzania continue. Total population at Nyarugusu Refugee Camp currently stands at 132,000, well beyond the camp’s capacity.
In West Africa, market availability was adequate in May, with supplies from recent 2014/15 harvests and international rice and wheat imports. Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in areas directly and indirectly affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. The recent opening of borders among Ebola-affected countries contributed to improved trade flows in some areas, following disruptions over the second half of 2014.
Harvests likely more than 70 percent below average in Rift Valley
USA – Forest Fire
• A forest fire broke out in Chelan County (Washington State) near Wenatchee on 28 June.
• According to media (as of 30 June), the fire burnt nearly 1,200 ha, destroyed 23 houses and injured three firefighters, while an evacuation order is in effect.
INDIA – Floods
• The Upper Assam districts of Sonitpur, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji were hit by new floods on 29 June, that killed two people and affected over 5,500 people in 20 villages. A relief camp has been opened by the district authorities, sheltering 75 people.
African crops and livestock in a changing climate
June 29, 2015 by Julian Ramirez-Villegas
Cross-posted from the CCAFS blog.
GENEVE, 30 juin (HCR) – Près de 10 000 réfugiés burundais ont fui le pays ce week-end avant que le Burundi ne ferme ses frontières dimanche soir avant les élections parlementaires le lendemain, a indiqué le HCR.
Le HCR a indiqué que selon les autorités burundaises, la frontière resterait fermée pendant 48 heures, « selon ce qui se fait habituellement » lors d'élections
WFP urgently requires USD 63 million for the next six months to meet the needs of existing operations that are responding to the Burundi crisis.
In Burundi, a recent inter-agency assessment recommended immediate food assistance for 100,000 people in Kirundo, Makamba Provinces and Bujumbura.
Tension is on the rise in Bujumbura in view of the first round of presidential elections, as rumors of attacks to destabilize the process circulate. In light of this, the number of Burundians leaving the country has increased. The police and military are still present in some parts of the city centre and suburbs. Criminality is on the rise and grenade attacks are recorded almost daily.
Snapshot 24–30 June 2015
Burundi: Turnout at the parliamentary elections was low. Voting stations were targeted and there was a spate of grenade attacks in the capital: several people were injured. Around 1,000 Burundians are leaving the country every day: 62,000 refugees are now in Tanzania, 45,000 in Rwanda, and 10,600 in DRC.
South Sudan: Households in some areas of Unity and Upper Nile states are suspected to be facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) food security outcomes. 5–8% of the country’s population are suffering severe acute malnutrition.
The objective of this overview is to support the development of national-level response and preparedness plans and facilitate joint priority actions in the areas of advocacy, resource mobilization, and coordinated engagement in cross border areas.
There has been a step change in the threat level in the region in 2015. There is an increasing concern about the confluence and compounding impacts of these threats, both at the national and the regional level. The outlook presented here will be updated on a bi-monthly basis.
GENEVA, June 30 (UNHCR) – Nearly 10,000 Burundian refugees fled into neighbouring countries over the weekend before the Central African country closed its borders on Sunday ahead of parliamentary elections the following day, the UN refugee agency said.
UNHCR said that according to the Burundian authorities the border would remain closed for 48 hours, "as was usual practice" during elections.
"Refugees now have to use informal border crossings through the forest to leave the country," UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told a press briefing in Geneva.