Recognizing World Refugee Day 2015: ADRA Provides Support for Refugees of Burundi Crisis

BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI – As World Refugee Day approaches, ADRA is responding to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Burundi amidst the upcoming presidential election and recent coup attempts.

Violence broke in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, and in Makamba province, on April 26 and has spread into towns across the country. The uproar began when President Pierre Nkurunziza’s announced his bid to stand for a third consecutive term and security forces began cracking down on protests.

Many Burundians have fled to neighboring African countries as a result: more than 70,000 to Tanzania, more than 27,000 to Rwanda, more than 9,000 to Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more than 5,000 to Uganda (Source: UNHCR May, 2015).

“In light of World Refugee Day on June 20, we want to highlight and pay tribute to ADRA humanitarian workers and field volunteers that continue to provide international protection and assistance to refugees in harms way in Burundi and around the world,” said Jonathan Duffy, President of ADRA International.

ADRA is working in partnership with UNHCR, the World Food Programme, and government agencies to distribute basic humanitarian supplies to the refugees. The agency is providing food, shelter, logistical and technical support, and public health campaigns to help prevent the spread of disease. ADRA is also distributing non-food items such as clothing, blankets, jerry cans, soap, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, and mosquito nets.

In Rwanda, ADRA is supporting Burundian refugees with psychosocial and child protection services to children and some families that have been identified as vulnerable by UNHCR and Plan International.

So far, ADRA has delivered this food and non-food aid to 54,912 people across 11,124 households and has conducted multiple on-the-ground assessments to determine how to continue to best support Burundian refugees.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) announced on June 1 that it will be releasing US $15 million to support life-saving relief work for thousands of Burundian refugees in Rwanda and Tanzania with the hope of kick-starting funding of the $207 million Refugee Response Plan for up to 200,000 Burundian refugees until September 2015. Nearly 100,000 Burundians have sought asylum in neighboring countries since the beginning of April 2015.

“With your support, ADRA can access and leverage United Nations funding in protracted emergencies,” said Imad Madanat, ADRA International Vice President for Programs.

ADRA receives funding from UNHCR in the following countries: Ukraine, Yemen, Rwanda, Liberia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia, Ghana, Cameroon and Thailand. In addition, ADRA is assisting refugees and internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Tanzania through funding from UNICEF and WFP. ADRA also continues to provide aid to refugees in Syria, South Sudan, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Central African Republic, and Mali.

About World Refugee Day

On the annual commemoration of World Refugee Day, June 20, the central issue continues to be the plight of refugees displaced by war and violence due to civil unrest in their home country.

World Refugee Day is a global event launched by the United Nations to recognize the challenges faced by refugees, internally displaced and stateless people around the world. The day, June 20, is an opportunity to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.