Rwanda + 4 more

UNICEF Rwanda Humanitarian Situation Report, January - December 2018

Situation Report
Originally published



• In 2018, over 10,800 new Burundian refugees arrived in Rwanda. Over 55 per cent of all Burundian refugees in Rwanda are children under 18.

• A total of 9,100 children under five years received essential vaccinations in Mahama refugee camp.

• A total of 6,400 children were provided access to centre- and home-based care in Mahama, including through construction of a permanent ECD centre and play park.

• UNICEF supported the provision of scholastic materials for 25,341 students for 2019.

• Through UNICEF support, 941 unaccompanied and separated children were placed in foster families and 10 were reunited with their own families.

• For Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) response, US$ 370,000 was mobilised for preparedness, simulation exercises, pre-positioning of supplies, risk communication, and community engagement.

• Twenty-thousand community health workers were trained to prepare for and respond to a potential outbreak of EVD in 10 high-risk districts.

Situation overview and humanitarian needs

According to statistics from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are 150,448 refugees and asylum seekers in Rwanda as 30 November 2018. Of these, 69,089 are Burundian refugees (see table below), 76,202 are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and 604 are refugees from other countries. In addition, there are about 4,553 asylum seekers. Refugee children under the age of 18 make up over 50 per cent of the total refugee and asylum-seeker population.

Breakdown of Burundian Refugees

Five refugee camps for Congolese refugees were established in 1996, 1997, 2005, 2012 and 2014. In 2012, UNHCR took full responsibility for the Congolese refugee response. In 2018, UNICEF prepared for an additional influx of up to 10,000 Congolese refugees due to the election in DRC, which took place in December 2018. However, only a few additional refugees entered Rwanda and they did not require humanitarian assistance.

Mahama Camp currently hosts 58,164 Burundian refugees, while the three reception centres (Bugesera [13], Nyanza [3] and Gatore [44]) host 60 Burundian refugees. In addition, there are more than 12,300 Burundian refugees in the urban areas of Kigali (11,625) and Huye (772). In 2018 a total of 10,879 new Burundian refugees were registered. Approximately 49 per cent of Burundian refugees are male, and about 51 per cent are female. Over 55 per cent of Burundian refugees are children under the age of 18.

On 1 August 2018, an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was officially declared in the North Kivu and Ituri Provinces in north-eastern DRC, close to Rwanda. UNICEF contributed to national level Ebola contingency planning led by the Ministry of Health. Measures include pre-positioning of life-saving commodities, such as a minimum supply of chlorine powder (300kg), 1,000 bars of soap, 20 handwashing stations, and a one-month supply of water tablets for 10,000 people. Measures also include printing and dissemination of information, education and communication (IEC) materials in high-risk districts; sensitizing communities on the disease; and initiating capacity building of community health workers. However, scarcity of resources to plan and prepare for this emergency remains a concern.