Repatriation of Burundian refugees
During the week under review, UNHCR registered 150 Burundian returnees who arrived from Tanzania. Since January 2007, 3,679 Burundian returnees have been recorded. Since the beginning of facilitated repatriations in 2002, UNHCR has registered 342,528 Burundians who returned from exile. There are still over 350,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania, and more than 17,000 in the DRC.
On June 4 was held in Dar are Salam the 11th meeting of the Tripartite commission on the repatriation of the Burundian refugees alive in Tanzania. Tanzanian, Bagrurundian authorities and UNHCR agreed upon measure to support the promotion of return. Assistance in camps will be focused on life-sustaining and right-based activities such as food, shelter, water/sanitation, health/nutrition and primary education, while scaling down supplementary assistance such as secondary education, vocational training and income generating activities.
It is expected that some 8,500 Burundian college students living in camps will return to Burundi along with their families to continue their studies in Burundi. The Burundian government has proposed to exempt college students from fees fro a period of 2 years.
All parties also recognized that the reintegration of refugees who left Burundi in 1972 remains more difficult and that alternative solutions may be envisaged. This prompted Burundian and Tanzanian authorities and UNHCR to visit in the old camps (Katumba, Mishamo and Ulyankulu) sheltering the Burundian refugees exiled in 1972 soon after the Tripartite meeting. More than 200,000 Burundians live in these settlements.
Update on food aid distribution
Over the reporting week, WFP distributed 1057 MT of food assistance to 248,876 vulnerable persons through its various programmes: Feeding centers, food for work/food for training, assistance to refugees, HIV/AIDS affected persons and targeted distribution.
Heavy rains have damaged crops and harvest in some parts of Kayogoro commune (Makamba province). Currently joint assessment teams from Min. of agriculture, FAO, WFP, OCHA and partners are currently evaluating harvests of the season B countrywide (Crops and Food Security Assessment Monitoring).
FAO Emergency Unit has continued the distribution of goats to vulnerable persons, in particular to the refugees recently repatriated. After the provinces of Makamba, Rutana, Muyinga, Karusi, Gitega and Ngozi, it was the turn of Cankuzo.
The targeting and the distribution were carried out in partnership with Solidarités and close cooperation with the DPAE and the administration.
On 7 June 2007, CRS organized an evaluation workshop to share results of a survey on seeds fairs conducted by the organization since 6 years. Considering the positive impact of this program, recommendations include to extend it while diversifying inputs and seeds to better answer the needs of beneficiaries.
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