Japan offers $2.5 m UNHCR Rwanda

Burundian refugees in Rwanda

Burundian refugees in Rwanda

The Japanese government has announced a $2.5 million contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the 2016 emergency response in support of Burundian refugees in Rwanda.

The contribution by Japan is the first contribution received by UNHCR Rwanda in 2016. Over 77,000 Burundian refugees have fled to neighbouring Rwanda since March last year, escaping the deadly violence that has rocked the tiny East African state
Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) and UNHCR are jointly leading the response to the emergency, which involves several UN agencies as well as Rwandan and international NGOs.

A new refugee camp, Mahama, was opened in April 2015 to accommodate the Burundian refugees, with over 47,000 refugees currently living there. The remaining refugees are living in urban areas such as the capital Kigali and Huye.

“I would like to express tremendous thanks to the Government of Japan, on behalf of the entire refugee response, for this most timely support. Not only is it the first contribution we have received in 2016, but USD 2.5 million is a very generous grant that will enable UNHCR to deliver critical services to Burundian refugees,” said Saber Azam, the UNHCR Representative in Rwanda.

Japan’s package will support interventions in numerous sectors including ensuring Burundian refugees have access to health care, more durable shelters, as well as improved self-reliance through skills training and other income-generating activities.

UNHCR said that it will also be able to improve the protection and living conditions of children in Mahama camp, and provide them with improved access to education thanks to the critical support from Japan.