UNHCR estimates a total of 102,000 Burundian refugees in Rwanda at the end of 2018, while the current figure is at nearly 90,000.
Kigali, Rwanda – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, together with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR) and 9 humanitarian partners, today launched an inter-agency funding appeal for US$74.3 million to protect and assist Burundian refugees in Rwanda for 2018.
Since the onset of the Burundian influx in 2015, UNHCR has launched an inter-agency Refugee Response Plan (RRP) for Rwanda every year to help coordinate the refugee program. Refugee arrivals are expected to continue in 2018, although at lower levels than in previous years. UNHCR estimates a total of 102,000 Burundian refugees in Rwanda at the end of 2018, while the current figure is at nearly 90,000.
The launch of the RRP comes one week after the Government of Rwanda’s announcement to officially apply the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), which is a new framework adopted by all 193 Member States of the United Nations as part of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016 that provides for a more comprehensive, predictable and sustainable response that benefits both refugees and their hosts. Rather than responding to refugee displacement through a purely, and often underfunded, humanitarian lens, the CRRF is based on the recognition that a broader approach is needed to manage refugee situations. It is more sustainable and beneficial for all to bolster national infrastructure and social systems than run parallel services for refugees. The decision to become an official CRRF country should bring Rwanda global recognition and can be the basis for mobilizing additional resources to support new approaches.
“UNHCR believes that Rwanda deserves recognition for its admirable policies of refugee inclusion. Already, refugees are attending schools with Rwandans, they have access to health services and the right to work in the country,” said the UNHCR Representative, Mr. Ahmed Baba Fall.
Reflecting the CRRF vision, the 2018 RRP seeks to avoid a protracted encampment situation by continuing the integration of refugees into national social systems, in particular health and education; and working to increase refugee livelihood opportunities.
In the context of the CRRF, investments are made in refugee hosting areas with a view to increasingly integrate services with national government systems and allow refugees to participate in local economies so that they can increase their level of self-reliance and contribute to the communities in which they live. With the timely arrival of the CRRF in Rwanda, UNHCR and partners will work with government to ensure that refugees are provided with opportunities to succeed, not only survive.
Mr. Fodé Ndiaye, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, UNHCR Representative to Rwanda. Mr. Ahmed Baba Fall, Catherine Wisner, Regional Refugee Coordinator/Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework Champion for the Burundi Situation and H.E the Ambassador of Korea to Rwanda, Kim Eung-joong. ©UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana
UNHCR Representative to Rwanda, Mr. Ahmed Baba Fall and Catherine Wisner, Regional Refugee Coordinator/Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework Champion for the Burundi Situation. ©UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana
Mr. Mark Bryan Schreiner, UNFPA Representative to Rwanda, Mr. Ted Maly, UNICEF Representative to Rwanda and Mr. Jean-Pierre de Margerie WPF country director during the Burundi inter-agency Refugee Response Plan (RRP) for Rwanda. ©UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana