Over the last year and a half, an estimated 300,000 Burundians have fled their homeland to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.
This unfolding refugee crisis, and the escalating political situation behind it in Burundi, has received little attention in the media.
Mahama camp in Rwanda where 50,000 Burundians are currently seeking refuge and humanitarian support. Photo by Caritas Rwanda
Pregnant and nursing Burundian women receive nutritional support in Mahama camp. Photo by Caritas Rwanda.
UNHCR reports more than 81,000 Burundian refugees now live in Rwanda, with children making up half of the refugees there, many of whom are unaccompanied.
About 50,000 of these people are living in the Mahama refugee camp which lies on the Tanzanian border and was set up to provide emergency shelter, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), health facilities and other assistance.
New refugees continue to arrive into Mahama camp every day and the deteriorating situation in Burundi means that its refugees do not want to return home.
With support from Irish Aid, Trócaire is funding a project at Mahama camp to support pregnant and nursing mothers, people with disabilities, and single mothers to meet their essential needs. This includes providing technical support to our partners Caritas Rwanda to ensure the response is carried out in a safe and dignified manner.
UNHCR is urging the international community to step up efforts to resolve the political unrest in Burundi, and to increase aid contributions to those affected.
As the numbers seeking refuge increase, so must our aid efforts.
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