The U.S. Government on Friday announced its plan to provide additional life-saving humanitarian assistance worth $31 million for refugees in Burundi.
The African Media Hub of the Department of State said in a statement that the pledged fund would provide assistance for refugees in Burundi and Congolese refugees living in Burundi, who were “food insecure’’.
“The U.S. announces more than $31 million in additional life-saving humanitarian assistance for refugees from Burundi, Congolese refugees living in Burundi, and others in Burundi, who are food insecure.
“This new funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the regional response to the Burundi crisis to more than $86 million since the start of the crisis in 2015,’’ it said.
The statement said about $23million of the additional fund would be given to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Burundi Situation Emergency Appeal.
It also said about $8million of the fund would be devoted to support the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
According to the Statement, the additional funding will allow the UNHCR to provide new refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia with basic life-saving assistance.
It said that the fund would provide the refugees with shelter, clean water and sanitation facilities, healthcare, essential household items, programmes that protect children and activities that protect and respond to gender-based violence.
“The US will continue to support those affected by this crisis, while working closely with humanitarian organisations and with countries in the region,’’ the statement added.
More than 210,000 people have fled Burundi since April when Pierre Nkurunziza announced his bid for a third term in office.
Nkurunziza won the disputed election in July but opposition continues, raising concerns that Burundi could descend into deadly violence.
Of the 210,000 refugees in the DRC (14,300), Uganda (15,800), Rwanda (70,900), Tanzania (110,300), and Zambia (700), 56.2 per cent of their number are aged 17 and under.