As of 30 June 2017, there are over 85,741 Burundian refugees in Rwanda, which was already hosting some 83,000 Congolese refugees and asylum seekers prior to the start of the Burundi crisis. New arrivals continue to enter the country, while inter-agency population planning most likely scenario for 2017 was estimated to be 115,000 Burundian refugees in Rwanda by end 2017.
As a result of the Government’s open border policies, refugees fleeing Burundi have had unrestricted access to asylum through prima facie refugee status and enjoyed freedom of movement.
Refugees are received in 5 reception/transit facilities where refugee response actors set up emergency protection and assistance services.
Mahama refugee camp, established in 2015 and with current capacity to host up to 60,000 refugees, is home to nearly 54,000 Burundian refugees (as of 30 June 2017). The remaining approximately 31,700 Burundian refugees live mostly in urban areas, primarily Kigali and Huye.
A key strategic focus in 2017 has been the transition from emergency shelters to semi-permanent structures. Basic services have been established in all sites including shelter, primary health care, and routine screening to identify and treat malnutrition as well as vaccination and reproductive health services. In addition, access to water and sanitation facilities has been ensured. With regard to food security, all refugees were provided a food basket to meet their daily dietary needs.
Aiming at self-reliance, livelihoods interventions are prioritized for this year. The Government of Rwanda has a policy of progressively integrating refugees into national systems for health and education. As such, while primary health services are provided in the camp by humanitarian actors, refugees are referred to local health facilities for secondary and tertiary referrals.