For 2018, the EU’s total humanitarian response to the Burundi regional refugee crisis therefore amounts to €13 million, the commission said in a press release. The European Union is closely monitoring the Burundi crisis and has provided over €57 million in humanitarian funding since the crisis broke out in April 2015. The funding is mainly allocated to humanitarian organizations for the assistance to Burundian refugees in the region.
“The region is suffering a largely forgotten and heavily underfunded refugee crisis. Most Burundian refugees currently seek refuge in Tanzania and Rwanda. But the majority of them lacks access to basic goods and services, including food,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, adding it is for this reason that the EU is “scaling up its response in the region and providing much needed humanitarian assistance.”
The additional support helps humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to Burundian refugees living in Tanzania and Rwanda. It particularly contributes to addressing previously unmet food, nutrition and protection needs.
The Great Lakes region is characterized by a number of crises. In Burundi, an initially political crisis triggered a major socio-economic crisis and slowly turned into a humanitarian crisis. With about 400,000 Burundians seeking refuge in neighboring countries, the situation has a significant regional impact. The majority of Burundian refugees remain in Tanzania and rely on international assistance to meet their basic needs. The situation continues to be one of the world’s most under-funded humanitarian crises.