The EU is increasing its support to respond to emergency needs of those fleeing the country due to ongoing instability in Burundi.
The European Commission has announced additional €10 million in humanitarian aid to help the increasing number of displaced Burundians. This comes on top of the €12.2 million already provided since the beginning of the year, bringing total EU humanitarian aid for the Burundi crisis in 2016 to over €22 million so far.
More than 260 000 people, over half of whom are children, are estimated to have left Burundi since April 2015, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
“The EU is committed to support the Burundian people at these difficult times. The humanitarian situation affecting Burundians remains a cause of great concern. More than a quarter of a million people have now fled their homes. The neighbouring countries’ hosting capabilities have been stretched to the limit, with the situation in Tanzania especially worrying. The additional EU funding will help get essential aid to those in need and improve refugees’ living conditions, notably in Tanzania,” said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
Tanzania has received the highest number of Burundians so far (nearly 140 000) mostly to Nyarugusu refugee camp, which has subsequently become one of the largest and most overcrowded refugee camps in the world. Even though additional camps have been set up (Mtendeli and Nduta) to accommodate the continued influx, living conditions in the camps need to improve. Risks of infections and epidemics are high. Sheltering conditions also involve considerable risks for the most vulnerable.
The European Commission has been supporting the Burundian people since the beginning of the crisis. In total, EU humanitarian assistance released to respond to the Burundi crisis amounts to €36.2 million since May 2015.