Food security: Within the framework of technical monitoring, FAO/Emergency Rehabilitation and Coordination Unit (ERCU) held a 4-day training session (23rd -27th of April) on best practices for technicians involved in the elaboration of the monthly bulletin for the joint (Government, UN and NGO) agricultural early warning system (SAP-SSA). Discussions focused on tools used for data collection, training on agricultural produce in the rural milieu, elaboration and publication of the SAP-SSA bulletin at the provincial level.
Repatriation: During the reporting period, 143 Burundian refugees including 21 spontaneous returnees arrived from Tanzania. UNHCR recorded a total number of 366 Burundians who returned home over the month of April. It is expected that the number of returnees will pick up again towards July when crops are harvested and the school year is over. From January 2007 till date, UNHCR has registered a total of 3,055 returnees. Since the beginning of the facilitated repatriation operation in 2002, a total of 341,911 Burundians have returned to their home country.
On April 27th, the Minister of National Solidarity inaugurated 200 houses for returnees who had no land property. These houses were built on the Gateri site, in the commune of Buganda (Cibitoke province) by the government project for the reintegration and reinsertion of war-affected persons (PARESI) with financial support from UNHCR.
Update on food aid: Over the reporting week, WFP assisted 490,943 beneficiaries with 2,957 MT of food aid through its various programmes; including feeding centres, food for work/food for training, assistance to refugees and HIV/AIDS affected persons, targeted distribution and seed protection rations. As earlier planned for the months of March until June this year, WFP has increased its assistance in order to meet the food needs of populations affected by torrential rains which destroyed food crops nationwide in the beginning of this year.
Repatriation of Congolese refugees: On Monday April 23rd, the ICLA (Information, Counseling, Legal Assistance) and Camp Management programmes of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) started a survey on Congolese refugee camps in Gasorwe (Muyinga province) and Gihinga (Mwaro province), in collaboration with UNHCR and HealthNet-Tanscultural Psychosocial Organization (HN-TPO). The survey will enquire into the type and level of information Congolese refugees have with regards to; land and property, housing and social services in their respective regions of origin in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The results of this anonymous survey will be shared with UNHCR and other humanitarian partners in Congo.
The purpose of this survey is to eventually provide feedback and to keep Congolese refugees posted on the exact situation regarding social issues in their various regions of origin. This update will thus provide the refugees with relevant information to enable them make well-informed decisions on whether or not to opt for voluntary repatriation. Data collection will take two weeks, covering every refugee household. About a month later, the full results and database will be handed over to NRC and humanitarian partners in the DRC. Feedback to the refugees will be given in due course.
Update on Burundians expelled from Tanzania: During the reporting week, the government project for the reintegration of war-affected persons (PARESI) registered a total of 220 persons (110 families) expelled from Tanzania: 150 and 70 at the entry points of Kobero (Muyinga) and Mishiha (Cankuzo) respectively. Since January 2007, PARESI has recorded 2,062 expelled persons (1,138 families.
Security: In spite of reported cases of armed banditry and teachings by the Palipehutu-FNL rebel movement led by Agathon Rwasa, humanitarian actors still have access to all communes in the western provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza and Cibitoke.
However, about 20 families in the Ngara area of Bubanza commune were temporary displaced to the Bubanza town centre further to population harassment by FNL combatants loyal to Jean-Bosco Sindayigaya as they moved from the province of Bubanza to the commune of Bukinanyana in Cibitoke province.
Coordination: Over the reporting week, the Ministry of Health supported by UNICEF and WHO, organized a workshop to validate a contingency plan in case of a cholera epidemic.
Contact Group: The monthly meeting was held on April 25th and was chaired by OCHA. The Director General of Urbanism briefed participants on the Study on National policy on habitat and urbanisation. This study which was conducted by a technical committee made up of civil society organisations/private sector, United Nations agencies and donors was set up by the Ministry of Public Works.
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