Tanzania + 2 more

UN Emergency Fund releases $15 million to support thousands fleeing Burundi

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(New York, 1 June 2015) – United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien is releasing some US$15 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support life-saving relief work for thousands of Burundian refugees in Rwanda and Tanzania.

More than 70,000 people, many of them children, have fled to Burundi’s neighbouring countries since political violence and civil unrest broke out in the capital Bujumbura in April. Some 46,000 Burundians found refuge in Tanzania and 26,000 in Rwanda.

“Children are arriving at borders sick and malnourished. Many are unaccompanied or have been separated from their families,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “This rapid allocation from CERF will be used to support refugees and the communities that are hosting them with urgently needed shelter, food, health and protection services. I also hope this will encourage others to step up their support.”

Aid agencies in Tanzania have warned that living conditions for refugees are dire, giving rise to serious health concerns. Cholera has already killed 30 people among refugee and Tanzanian host communities. In Rwanda, humanitarian partners are concerned about high levels of malnutrition and child protection, particularly given that nearly 60 per cent of newly arrived refugees are children.

To scale up humanitarian operations in both countries, approximately $7.5 million of the allocation will go to relief agencies in Tanzania and nearly $8 million will support the scale up of life-saving operations in Rwanda. In Tanzania, CERF funds will assist new refugees along the route from the border to reception centres and the Nyarugusu refugee camp. In Rwanda, the funds will support the immediate needs of refugees at two reception centres and the Mahama refugee camp. CERF funds will help kick start the Regional Refugee Response Plan for up to 200,000 Burundian refugees in neighbouring countries.

CERF pools donor contributions in a single fund so that money is available to start or continue urgent relief work anywhere in the world. Since its inception in 2006, 125 UN Member States and dozens of private-sector donors have contributed to the Fund. CERF has allocated more than $3.9 billion in support of humanitarian operations in 94 countries and territories.

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Delaney, OCHA New York, +1 9173674568, +1 917 226 6308, delaneym@un.org
Tomas de Mul, CERF secretariat, +1 917 367 6013, +1 917 250 8400, demul@un.org
OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org or www.reliefweb.int

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.