The above total reflects the refugee population covered by the Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plan and includes Burundian refugees who fled since April 2015, as well as some 37,000 Burundian refugees who sought asylum in the region prior to April 2015. In addition to the population above, there are some 16,000 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya, 8,700 in Mozambique, 10,800 in Malawi, 9,900 in South Africa and 8,100 in Zambia who are assisted within the respective country-level programmes. A further 42,200 Burundian refugees, who have lived for decades in Tanzania, no longer receive assistance and are not included in these figures.
Human and child rights advocates benefit from online course on ending child statelessness
By Caroline Opile in Nairobi, Kenya | 12 February 2021, 21 Feb 2021
UNHCR teams up with the African Committee on Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to help eradicate childhood statelessness through an online course.
UNHCR welcomes Uganda Communications Commission directive to improve refugees’ access to SIM cards
UNHCR Africa, 20 Aug 2019
“The new directive will enable the majority of refugees to legally access SIM cards and ease communication with families and also with UNHCR through the refugee helpline,” said UNHCR’s Boutroue. “Communication is a fundamental part of humanitarian response and is essential in ensuring accountability...
Across Africa, women humanitarians are stepping up to help those in need
UNHCR Africa, 19 Aug 2019
In marking World Humanitarian Day today, we pay special tribute to women humanitarians around the world. These incredible aid workers answer the call of service and work in various capacities across the African continent to help those forced to flee. Here are some of their stories:
UNHCR to launch first Global Refugee Forum
UNHCR Africa, 25 Jun 2019
The Global Refugee Forum is a unique occasion for States and others to come together and announce bold, new measures they will take to ease pressure on host countries, boost refugee self-reliance, and search for solutions.
Global forced displacement tops 70 million
UNHCR Africa, 20 Jun 2019
“What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution. While language around refugees and migrants is often divisive, we are also witnessing an outpouring of generosity and solidarity, espe...
By the end of February 2023, Burundi was host to 371,332 persons of concern. This includes 208,213 returnees mainly from Tanzania, Rwanda, DRC and Uganda and a further 87,819 refugees and asylum-seeke...
The first cases of Covid-19 in the EHAGL region were reported on 13 March and the situation continues to evolve. All 11 countries of the region have reported cases and local transmission. While there has been no large-scale outbreak amongst UNHCR’s populations of concern, the need for preparedness is urgent. UNHCR is working closely with governments, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Country Teams to promote the inclusion of refugees, IDPs, stateless people and others of concern in national preparedness and response measures – in particular in health, hygiene and sanitation programmes, as well as distance learning and emergency social safety nets.
19 May 2020
Internal displacement is also a phenomenon in countries in the EHAGL region and faced by several countries on a large scale. Over 8 million people are currently internally displaced. Efforts are underway to strengthen UNHCR’s role in inter-agency IDP responses in line with the 2019 IDP policy and the High Commissioner’s new Initiative on Internal Displacement which includes Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan. Recent opportunities to pursue solutions for IDPs in the region were bolstered by South Sudan’s accession and Ethiopia and Somalia’s ratification of the African Union Convention on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention).
19 May 2020
During 2019, some 220,000 people were granted international protection in the East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region (EHAGL), bringing the total number of refugees and asylum-seekers to 4.7 million. The region hosts some 67 per cent of the refugees on the African continent and 20 per cent of the global refugee population. The largest number of refugees and asylum-seekers in the region are from South Sudan, with significant numbers also from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan. Governments have generally continued to maintain open-door asylum policies and embraced the Global Compact on Refugees by adopting progressive national refugee frameworks and promoting the inclusion of refugees into national health, education and social protection systems.
19 May 2020
We are pleased to announce that the Joint Refugee Return and Reintegration Plan (JRRRP), an integrated inter-agency response plan to ensure the sustainable return and reintegration of Burundi refugees from the five main countries of asylum (Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Kenya) is now available online.
The JRRRP articulates the joint strategy to receive voluntarily repatriating refugees and provide both humanitarian and development oriented community-based response activities reaching an estimated 74,000 assisted and self -organized refugee returns in 2017and 2018, up to 116,000 refugee returns projected for 2019, as well as an additional 82,000 community members in the six main provinces of return. The plan brings together 19 partners within Burundi, including Government ministries, UN agencies and NGOs with a rationale to assist displacement affected communities in Burundi by strengthening their absorption capacity and resilience.
While UNHCR is of the opinion conditions in Burundi are not currently conducive to promote returns, UNHCR and partners are supporting a solutions oriented approach by assisting refugees who indicate they have made a free and informed choice to voluntarily return. More than 75,000 refugees have returned to Burundi through the assisted voluntary repatriation program since September 2017, while others have returned on their own, citing the wish to return to their houses and farms, and to reunite with family.
With respect to recent media statements by the governments of Tanzania and Burundi about plans to repatriate refugees more quickly on a bilateral basis, UNHCR continues to call upon the commitment of both governments to uphold international obligations and ensure that any returns are voluntary and conducted in line with the Tripartite Agreement and as reaffirmed at the Tripartite Commission Meetings of August 2017 and March 2018. UNHCR is also urging all States to ensure that no refugee is returned to Burundi against their will, and that measures are taken to make conditions in Burundi more conducive for refugee returns including confidence building efforts and reintegration support for those who have chosen to go home.
16 Sep 2019
From 7 September 2017 to 31 July 2019, 74,979 refugees voluntarily returned to Burundi in an organized manner with the support of UNHCR.
26 Aug 2019
UNHCR’s Representative in Uganda today handed over three ambulances, thirty one motorcycles and a thermal scanner to the Ministry of Health to boost the Ebola response. Uganda has included refugees in the National Ebola Preparedness and Response Plan and continues to keep its borders open, ensuring safe and dignified asylum for the women, children and men arriving daily from the neighbouring countries.
In an address to UNHCR staff in Geneva to mark World Humanitarian Day, Grandi emphasized the crucial work carried out by thousands of UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency, colleagues working in duty stations from Syria to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC.
“We need continued solidarity to meet the basic needs and protection for the majority of Burundian refugees who are not yet ready to go home and live in overcrowded camps with limited opportunities to support themselves and their families,” said Catherine Wiesner, UNHCR’s Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Burundi Situation.
The Burundi refugee response and return operation are running on a very limited budget. UNHCR and partner agencies have through the Burundi Regional Response Plan for 2019-2020, appealed for US$ 296 million this year. Only 10 per cent of the financial requirements have been received.
With tens of millions of people affected by war, conflict and persecution, the Global Refugee Forum will be an opportunity for countries to take stock of today’s situation and to strengthen the international response. It follows the new Global Compact on Refugees that was agreed last December by the UN General Assembly, and is part of its implementation.