The UK is providing an additional £15.0 million to help meet the urgent needs of Burundian refugees arriving in western Tanzania. This brings the total UK support to the current refugee influx to £29.25 million (c TZS 90 billion) since June 2015. The UK previously provided £14.25 million for food, medical care and clean water to help the growing number of Burundians who have fled their country since April 2015 to seek safety in Tanzania.
The new funds will help provide food, water, social services and education for the refugees as well as provide additional support to the Tanzanian communities that are hosting them.
This additional support from the UK comes as the number of Burundian refugees in Tanzania has now reached 143,000. That is over half of the 267,000 Burdundian refugees in the region, with up to 100 continuing to arrive daily. Aid agencies are struggling to meet their needs. The 2016 UN Refugee Response Appeal for Tanzania is only 39% funded.
The UK’s additional £15 million package will help up to 143,000 people by providing
£5 million to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to help provide health care, social services and education for refugees and address some of the environmental pressures that the camps are placing on local communities;
£4million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to help provide essential food supplies to the refugees;
£1.5 million to OXFAM to improve water and sanitation and support host communities;
Up to £2m to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to enable it to support the management of refugee camps and to build classrooms for some of the 80,000 Burundian children now living in the camps;
£2.5 million in contingency funding in the event of a rapid change in circumstances.
Announcing the support, the Head of the Tanzanian office of the UK’s Department for International Development Vel Gnanendran said:
“Today marks World Refugee Day and Tanzania continues to be an example to the world in opening its doors to those who are fleeing persecution. Since the start of the crisis in Burundi in April 2015, over 143,000 Burundians have sought refuge here. Tanzania has welcomed them. The international community must play its part as well. That is why the UK is today providing an additional £15m to help ensure that these refugees, especially women and children, are given the security, dignity and basic services, such as food and water, that are essential for their lives. And we must also recognise the Tanzanian communities that are so kindly hosting these refugees. That is why some of this new funding will also support them.”
Burundi was plunged into a political crisis when President Nkurunzinza decided to run for a third term. His subsequent election has led to violent unrest and increasing economic difficulties, causing thousands of Burundians to flee to Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Since April 2015, 267,000 Burundians have fled the country, the majority coming to Tanzania where they are being hosted in three camps: Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli. Ensuring that the basic needs of these refugees continue to be met is therefore critical. So too is supporting the Tanzanian host communities so they are able to see benefits from the camps.
Total UK support across the region for the Burundian refugee crisis is now £36.15 million (c.$ 50 million).