As countries commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20, ADRA is responding to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Burundi ahead of a presidential election and after recent coup attempts.
Violence broke in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, and in the Makamba province on April 26 and has spread into towns across the country. The uproar began when President Pierre Nkurunziza's announced a bid to stand for a third consecutive term and security forces began cracking down on protests.
Many Burundians have fled to neighboring African countries, including more than 70,000 to Tanzania, more than 27,000 to Rwanda, more than 9,000 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more than 5,000 to Uganda, according to United Nations figures.
“In light of World Refugee Day on June 20, we want to highlight and pay tribute to ADRA humanitarian workers and field volunteers that continue to provide international protection and assistance to refugees in harms way in Burundi and around the world,” said Jonathan Duffy, president of ADRA International.
World Refugee Day is a global event launched by the United Nations to recognize the challenges faced by refugees, internally displaced and stateless people around the world. The day is an opportunity to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
ADRA is working in partnership with UNHCR, the World Food Programme, and government agencies to distribute basic humanitarian supplies to the refugees. The agency is providing food, shelter, logistical and technical support, and public health campaigns to help prevent the spread of disease. ADRA is also distributing non-food items such as clothing, blankets, jerry cans, soap, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, and mosquito nets.
In Rwanda, ADRA is supporting Burundian refugees with psychosocial and child protection services to children and some families who have been identified as vulnerable by UNHCR and Plan International.
ADRA has delivered this food and non-food aid to 54,912 people across 11,124 households and has conducted multiple on-the-ground assessments to determine how to continue to best support Burundian refugees.
A UN Central Emergency Response Fund announced on June 1 will release US$15 million to support life-saving relief work for thousands of Burundian refugees in Rwanda and Tanzania. It may be followed by funding for a $207 million refugee response plan for up to 200,000 Burundian refugees through September 2015. Nearly 100,000 Burundians have sought asylum in neighboring countries since the beginning of April.
“With your support, ADRA can access and leverage United Nations funding in protracted emergencies,” said Imad Madanat, ADRA International vice president for Programs.
ADRA receives funding from UNHCR in the following countries: Ukraine, Yemen, Rwanda, Liberia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia, Ghana, Cameroon and Thailand. In addition, ADRA is assisting refugees and internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Tanzania through funding from UNICEF and World Food Programme. ADRA also provides aid to refugees in Syria, South Sudan, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Central African Republic, and Mali.