UN Emergency Fund releases US$ 11 million to assist Burundian refugees and host communities in Tanzania
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today released US$ 100 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for aid operations in nine severely underfunded emergencies. Tanzania--historically a host to millions of refugees from neighbouring countries over many years--has been allocated US$ 11 million of this amount, to respond to the urgent needs of refugees fleeing from Burundi.
More than 126,000 Burundians have sought refuge in Tanzania since April 2015 as a result of political unrest in Burundi. With 64,000 Congolese (DR) refugees already in the country, Tanzania is now home to over 193,000 refugees. At the weekly arrival rate of 1,500 individuals, it is anticipated that the refugee population may increase to 230,000 by the end of 2016. This situation poses significant challenges in providing adequate assistance and protection to refugees.
The CERF's generous contribution will be crucial in the provision of humanitarian assistance to Burundian refugees residing in Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli refugee camps within Kigoma region, North West Tanzania, as well as to host communities in urgent need of clean water, adequate sanitation, health care, food and shelter. Part of the funding will also be used to address the on-going cholera outbreak that has severely affected 19 regions in the country. The CERF funds will thus help ensure that some of the most critical elements of the emergency response are funded and refugees are provided with protection and essential services.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez, echoes the remarks made by the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. As noted by the UN Secretary General, “This CERF allocation will help sustain life-saving relief in emergencies where the needs of the most vulnerable communities are alarmingly high while the available resources for response remain critically low.” “Importantly, despite the tremendous generosity of Tanzania in hosting many refugees, additional funding is still required,” added the UN Resident Coordinator.
“UNHCR welcomes the generous contribution from the CERF which comes at a most opportune moment. The operation faced significant funding shortfalls in 2015 which affected our collective response capacity in 2015. We hope that this is the first sign of a more robust funding response in 2016. This contribution will definitely help to fill some of the large gaps in the response to our on-going appeal and respond to the urgent needs of refugees and their host community,” said UNHCR Representative in Tanzania, Ms. Joyce Mends-Cole.
As humanitarian needs increase, the contribution by UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), has provided a lifeline to the on-going Burundian refugee emergency. Since 2006, 125 UN Member States and observers, private-sector donors and regional governments have supported the Fund. To date, CERF has allocated almost US$ 4.2 billion for humanitarian operations in 94 countries and territories. CERF receives voluntary contributions year-round to provide immediate funding for life-saving humanitarian action. CERF is funded through many partners with the biggest contributions coming from: United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands and Canada