Burundi + 1 more

Burundi Weekly Humanitarian News, 29 Sep - 05 Oct 2008

Activities and Updates

Humanitarian Reform/Clusters workshop: Earliest development

The workshop held on 24-25 September confirmed the interest of UN agencies and others Humanitarian partners (several international NGOs) to formalize the cluster arrangements, in particular regarding early recovery, nutrition, and possibly logistics.

It stressed out the importance of not creating additional layers of coordination but to integrate the humanitarian component into existing development groups of the PRSP, particulary for Education, Health and Food Security.

While no formal endorsement of cluster has been made during the workshop, it was clearly recommended that:

- a country IASC (Comité Humanitaire) will meet shortly after the workshop to endorse which clusters should be formally activated,

- a letter will be sent by the HC to the ERC detailing the agreed cluster arrangements,

- OCHA and CNCA to brief institutions or organizations absent at the workshop (in particular Ministries of Health, Education, Interior, Civil Protection, Red Cross of Burundi),

- A revision of the interagency contingency planning under the co-lead of Civil Protection, OCHA and UN agencies will take place early November with RO-CEA support.

To support this reform in Burundi, Partnerships should be improved through concrete lessons learned and National actors should increasingly 'own' the coordination of emergency response .

Also, Humanitarian issues should not be systematically considered as 'emergency' only but should be integrated into all key or sensitive activities. Emergency preparedness has to be an integral part of any recovery or development program. There should be One integrated team for early sustained effort recovery.

OCHA presence is required in 2009 with a similar setup as in 2008. Reinforcement of revised coordination structures requires a sustained effort

Repatriation and reintegration of Burundian refugees

1. Statistics

During the reporting period, 2,044 returnees arrived in Burundi from Tanzania. 408 entered through Ruyigi in one convoy, and 1,636 through Makamba (1,014 are former 1972 refugees from Tanzania's Old Settlements, and 622 from Mtabila camp). One returnee arrived spontaneously from the Old Settlements.

Since the beginning of this year, a total of 79,396 Burundian refugees have returned: 435 in January, 1,991 in February, 8,377 in March, 6,675 in April, 5,272 in May, 19,635 in June, 17,508 in July, 9,642 in August, 8,439 in September and 1,422 so far in October. This figure includes the return of 19,848 refugees from 1972, including 32 from villages in Kigoma region.

2. Construction of temporary accommodation centers by UNHCR

The construction of temporary accommodation centers for returnees from the 1972 group is ongoing. Four centers at Bukemba and Giharo communes (Rutana province) and two in Rumonge (Bururi province) are currently under construction. Up to six more sites are currently being identified in the southern provinces of Bururi, Makamba and Rutana. Each center will provide temporary shelter for 42 families whose land has been occupied. The temporary accommodation centers are built in major areas of origin of former 1972 refugees, in order to allow them to follow up the resolution of their land conflicts.

3. Shelter construction makes good progress

The construction of 13,200 individual houses in 2008 with UNHCR's shelter kits is making good progress. By 30 September, the beneficiaries had completed on average two thirds (67 %) of the construction works. 500 of the shelter kits have been provided exclusively to former 1972 refugees. Houses for the 1972 families are still in the early phase of construction, due to the fact that beneficiaries were identified in the second half of the year.

UNHCR's shelter programme supports vulnerable returnees as well as members of other vulnerable groups (10% of beneficiaries), allowing them to construct shelters on their own land. UNHCR works with four partners under this project: COPED, GTZ, PARESI, and WOI.

Assistance to Burundians expelled from Tanzania

The Government project for the reintegration of waraffected persons (PARESI) registered 202 Burundians (62 families) expelled from Tanzania who arrived through the entry points of Gisuru / Ruyigi Province 4 persons (3 families), Mishiha / Cankuzo Province 2 persons (2 families), Mabanda / Makamba Province 87 persons (23 families) and Kobero / Muyinga Province 3 persons (3 families).

Update on food aid distribution

WFP distributed a total of 144 MT of different food commodities under its various activities to 43,627 beneficiaries. A total of 40,730 beneficiaries were reached with 94 MT of mixed food commodities under targeted feeding, while under the Returnees Programme, a total of 50 MT of different food commodities was distributed to 2,897 beneficiaries.

The Food Security Monitoring System (FSMS) collect (countrywide) started on 6 October. The final results will be available in November, adding importantly to food security analysis.

In order to further improve the FSMS system, WFP had in mid 2007 undertaken a study to consider possibilities of integrating nutrition indicators in the system. This integration became effective in April 2008. The initial analysis of the data from the integrated system indicate a correlation between nutrition and food security indicators and therefore the need to maintain the new integrated system. The improved FSMS will particularly be useful in informing trends, thus allowing for better design if responses as necessary. Select indicators used in the system are especially useful in measuring the effect and change in situation associated to the soaring food prices, especially on the household purchasing power.

In readiness for the phase of data collection, WFP Burundi (2-3 October) organised a capacity building workshop for partners in charge of FSMS data collection. The objective of the training was to share the results of the first phase of improved FSMS (with nutrition Information integrated) conducted in April and June 2008 to optimize its usefulness and application in Burundi,

The JAM mission on Congolese refugees of 15 -19 September presented its conclusions and recommendations on 2 October:

The Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) for Congolese Refugees took place from the 15 - 19 September covered the three camps of Gihinga, Gasoorwe and Musasa. In participation were representatives from the Government of Burundi, Donors, UN Agencies and NGOs. WFP, led the Food Security Group that look into food security and distribution procedures. Findings show that a significant number among the refugees sell up to 10 % of their food ration for condiments and select non food items. WFP distributes a full monthly ration of 2146 kcal. As a recommendation of the mission recommended regular distributions of non food -items and the promotion of income generating activities. Also that supplementary ration is provided for vulnerable groups including malnourished children, elderly, chronically ill and child headed households which makes up about 10 % of the refugee caseload.

Refugees currently receiving assistance by WFP in the Gasorwe and Musasa camps amount to 13,728 persons. In the Gihinga camp 2,830 refugees receive assistance.

Focus on Concern Worldwide Burundi

Concern Worldwide Burundi (CWB) is a Dublinbased NGO which has been supporting communitybased development in Burundi since 1997, by empowering those living in extreme poverty to make sustainable improvements in their lives. Initially focusing on emergency response, CWB is now managing the transition to development, working in Education and Health/Nutrition in Cibitoke as well as Livelihood Security in Kirundo, whilst mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), HIV/AIDS, Gender and Equality in all its programmes.

The Education Programme (2008-2011) focuses on significantly increasing access to primary education in Cibitoke Province for 11,000 children of school enrolment age who have either never been to school or dropped out. To date, the project has already re-launched and strengthened 47 Parent-Teacher Committees, and through a community validation process, it has identified 2,400 extremely poor children to support in Buganda and Mabayi communes. In collaboration with the Rural Education Bureau and the Provincial Education Directorate, the capacity of 630 teachers has also been built in the newly introduced disciplines of Kiswahili, English and Civics.

The purpose of the Community Health Development Programme is to contribute to a reduction in malaria and malnutrition mortality rates in Mugina commune, for over 13,000 children under the age of five, as well as some 3,000 pregnant women. One of the many achievements of the project lies with the 25 Positive Deviance Hearths, which, between January and August 2008 alone, welcomed 1,522 malnourished children under five for nutrition sessions. Out of this number, 60.7% gained more than 400g and graduated, whilst 28.4% gained 200- 399g. CWB will carry forward the successes and learning of this project in the launch of a USAIDfunded Child Survival Programme in Mabayi Health District in January 2009.

Targeted at 6,760 direct beneficiaries in Bugabira and Busoni Communes, the Kirundo Livelihoods Security project (2008-2012) aims to increase extremely poor and marginalised households' access to services and resources that can help them develop sustainable livelihood options. Having already provided training on farming and livestock breeding techniques and agricultural input to 1,050 farmers as well as support material and service delivery training to 16 extension workers, the project is also supporting the decentralisation process through the elaboration of the Bugabira Commune Community Development Plan and capacity building for 144 members of the Colline Development Committees and 25 members of the Commune Development Council.

For more information on Concern Worldwide Burundi and its programmes, please contact Peter Rugu, CWB Acting Country Director: peter.rugu@concern.net or visit: www.concern.net


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