347,309 Total Burundian refugees residing in the main hosting countries (United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda, the DRC, Uganda).
3,477 Burundian refugees assisted to voluntarily return in February 2019.
712 Total Burundian refugee arrivals recorded in February 2019.
Highlights and Operational Context
The 2019-2020 Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plan was launched in Nairobi on 21st February. The key note speaker was a refugee from Burundi living in Uganda. In addition to the Regional Refugee Coordinator, remarks were also given by a representative from the East African Community Secretariat, Regional Director for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and UNDP Sub-regional Platform Coordinator. Refugees were at the center of the launch with remarks and performances by Queen Lissa, a Burundian rapper and youth development activist, and the Amahoro drummers. A market with products made by Burundian entrepreneurs, including soap maker Innocent Havyarimana, was a highlight of the event. The RRRP calls for USD 296 million in 2019, in a collective effort of 35 partner organizations supporting host governments to provide protection and assistance to some 391,355 Burundian refugees by the end of 2019 in Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, undertook a four-day visit to Tanzania from 5th to 8th February. The High Commissioner met with the President of Tanzania and other senior government officials, donors and partners, and refugees in Nyarugusu Camp.
Citing Tanzania as “one of the most important refugee asylum countries in Africa,” the High Commissioner expressed his satisfaction with government assurances that the country would continue its long tradition of welcoming refugees fleeing conflict and persecution, and that any return of refugees from Tanzania to Burundi or the DRC would remain voluntary. In the context of the Global Compact on Refugees, he “pledged to mobilize more support for humanitarian efforts and for host community development, enhanced camp security and environmental projects”.