Conditions for many migrants expelled from Tanzania “Dire” says IOM
Kenya - While expulsions of undocumented migrants from Tanzania have tapered off, conditions for many Burundian, Rwandan and Ugandan migrants now stranded in border transit centres are deteriorating due to heavy rain.
Many migrants, including vulnerable women, children and the sick have little or no shelter, with children at particularly high risk of contracting diseases associated with the wet season, including upper respiratory tract infections and diarrhoea. At Sango Bay transit centre, close to the Ugandan border, two children also died of malaria last week due to lack of medicines.
At border transit centres in Burundi and Uganda, humanitarian workers say that there is now an acute need for emergency life-saving services including primary health care, ante-natal and post-natal care and vaccination for children.
Migrants arriving at the border crossings have told IOM staff that expulsions of undocumented migrants from Tanzania are now slowing down, but many migrants are still hiding in the jungle with little food or water, surviving on wild fruit and waiting for the situation to normalize.
Tanzania ordered thousands of undocumented migrants from Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda to leave the country by 12th August 2013. To date, some 36,000 Burundians, 13,000 Rwandans and 4,000 Ugandans have left, either of their accord or by being expelled. They include people born in Tanzania and people who had lived there for decades.
Burundi, which received the largest number of those expelled, is the country least prepared for the sudden influx. Reintegration is a significant challenge, particularly given that last year the country had to absorb an additional 34,000 returnees, following the closure of Tanzania’s Mtabila refugee camp.
IOM, in coordination with the Burundi Red Cross and the Ministry of National Solidarity, Human Rights and Gender, is assisting the Burundian government to find a durable solution for some 1,150 newly arrived returnees who have no remaining links with the country.
To date, IOM Burundi has assisted 6,308 expelled migrants to travel from points of entry and transit centres to the areas of origin. In addition, IOM is providing emergency shelter and protection.
IOM Burundi’s assistance to the returnees has been made possible by USD 795,000 from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and EUR 500,000 from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO).
A further USD 50,000 from UNOCHA will allow IOM Uganda to start providing primary health care and referral services at the Sango Bay transit centre. IOM will shortly deploy a mobile clinic staffed with a nurse and a midwife.
Funding from the UN CERF will also allow IOM Rwanda to continue to provide transport, including ambulances, from the border crossing points at Rusumo and Ndego to transit centres inside Rwanda and to the migrants’ final destinations. It has already provided transport for some 10,430 returnees since September.
IOM will also now help the Rwandan government to provide emergency shelter, camp coordination, screening and registration for expelled Rwandan migrants.
For more information please contact
Danila Bogdan IOM Kenya Tel:+254 715857411 Email: email@example.com
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