Rwanda + 1 more

UNICEF Rwanda Humanitarian Situation Report - Burundi Refugees, 30 November 2017



  • The total number of Burundian refugees in Rwanda is 88,500. Mahama Camp is hosting 56,379 of these refugees.

  • WASH facilities are being provided to the refugees in Mahama Camp as well in the two receptions centres, as per the standards.

  • Distribution of ready-to-use therapeutic food and micronutrient powder has been streamlined through Kirehe District Hospital.

  • Vaccination of children is ongoing according to the national immunisation calendar. There have been no reported outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

  • Thanks to funding from the Government of Japan, schools are equipped with ICT materials benefitting children from the host community and Burundian refugees.

88,500 Burundian refugees in Rwanda (UNHCR, 23 November 2017)

56,379 Burundian refugees hosted at Mahama refugee camp (UNHCR, 23 November 2017)

47% of the refugees hosted are children

Situation overview and humanitarian needs

According to UNHCR, in October, there was an increase in the new arrivals of refugees from Burundi, 1,158 refugees arrived compared to 456 new arrivals in September. As of 23 November 2017, the total number of Burundian refugees in Rwanda was 88,500. The newly opened transit centre in Nyarushishi did not receive any new arrivals during this reporting period. Mahama Camp currently hosts 56,379 refugees, while the three reception centres (Bugesera, Nyanza and Gatore) have 402 refugees. There are 31,719 refugees in the urban areas of Kigali and Huye.

Humanitarian leadership and coordination

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) and UNHCR are the overall coordinators of the inter-agency response to the refugee situation. UNICEF is the UN Co-Coordinator for the response in WASH, child protection, education, early childhood development, health (with WHO and UNFPA), and nutrition (with WFP). The main implementing partners are district and community authorities, the Ministry of Health, Rwanda Biomedical Center, district hospitals and health centres, Africa Humanitarian Action, American Refugee Committee (health, nutrition and shelter), Save the Children (child protection), ADRA (ECD and education), the Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), Global Humanitarian and Development Foundation (GHDF), and Oxfam (WASH).
Refugee coordination meetings are held each month and include donors and other development partners such as the World Bank, in an attempt to have more strategic level discussions with donors and other partners, and to keep them well informed.

Humanitarian strategy

The strategy agreed upon by the Government and development partners is to provide comprehensive services to refugees and seek fulfilment of their basic rights by providing registration, shelter, household equipment, food and water, maintain sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition services, education, and protection.

In the wake of the increasing number of refugees, UNHCR has requested 55 hectares of additional land in Mahama Camp to continue construction of semi-permanent shelters. UNHCR has agreed to finance a project to benefit the local community in compensation for the land.

UNICEF’s continuing response includes the provision of improved sanitation facilities, technical assistance, screening and management of severe acute malnutrition, promotion of appropriate infant and young child feeding practices, and provision of polio and measles vaccines for children, as well as routine immunisations. In addition, unaccompanied and separated children are registered, their families are traced, and child-friendly spaces are established. Support for the prevention and response to violence against children is being provided. UNICEF is also supporting access to early learning and basic education for refugee children. After initial life-saving interventions, UNICEF’s focus is on the provision of basic social services and support to the development of more permanent solutions.