Rwanda + 2 more

UNICEF Rwanda Humanitarian Situation Report Mid-Year 2020

Situation Report
Originally published



  • During the reporting period, over 5,800 children were vaccinated against measles in all six refugee camps;

  • 8,500 Burundian refugee children received child protection services in Mahama Camp and in host communities;

  • 13,000 refugee children were reached with quality, inclusive education;

  • 6,000,000 people were reached with EVD messaging on prevention and access to services;

  • 500,000 people were engaged on RCCE for EVD prevention.

  • Additional funding is urgently needed to support refugee children in Rwanda to access essential services in and out of camps.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

In 2020, UNICEF Rwanda has appealed for US$ 8 million to sustain provision of life-saving services for refugee women and children. To date, there is still a 72 per cent funding gap. If this appeal remains unfulfilled, UNICEF will not be able to provide critical support to families and children in and out of camps including 40,000 people who will not have adequate access to water, over 20,000 children who will not receive the psychosocial support they need, and 17,000 children who will not receive a quality education.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

There are currently 149,279 refugees and asylum seekers in Rwanda (UNHCR 2020). Of these, 72,853 are Burundian refugees, 76,375 are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and 51 are refugees from other countries. There are 297 asylum seekers in Rwanda. Refugee children under the age of 18 make up over 50 per cent of the total refugee and asylum-seeker population.

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.

Most Burundian refugees reside in Mahama Camp, which currently hosts 61,481 people. In addition, there are more than 11,700 Burundian refugees in the urban areas of Kigali and around 850 in Huye.

Beginning in August 2018, the DRC faced a large-scale epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, with importation to Goma and South Kivu provinces. Since the start of the outbreak in August 2018, there were 3,470 EVD cases reported and 2,287 people died (WHO, 26 June 2020). Around 28 per cent of cases were children, a larger proportion than reported in previous outbreaks of Ebola.

As one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, and with high-quality transport infrastructure, Rwanda would be at high-risk of rapid spread of EVD. In 2018, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) developed an Ebola preparedness plan and activated mechanisms to minimise the risk of importation. UNICEF was a key partner in the development and implementation of this plan.

Throughout the outbreak in DRC, Rwanda remained free of Ebola. On 25 June 2020, the Minister of Health of the DRC declared the end of the EVD outbreak in North Kivu, Ituri and South Kivu Provinces. Although there is an ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the western part of DRC, there have been no EVD cases in Rwanda, which remains a high risk priority 1 country.

In addition, there was no new influx from Burundi following the Presidential Elections in May in Burundi, partly due to the lock down measures in place at that time in Rwanda which included closed borders and no commercial flight. The borders remain closed to date.