REGIONAL SITUATION OVERVIEW
As of June 30, 2021, some 276,000 Burundian refugees were accommodated in the four main countries of asylum, including 43,200 refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 49,000 in Rwanda, 133,000 in Tanzania and 51,000 in Uganda. Burundi’s 2021 Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) includes an appeal for US $ 222.6 million for 36 partners to address the critical needs of Burundian refugees in these four main countries of asylum and describes the response to the Burundi for repatriated refugees as set out in the 2021 Burundi Joint Refugee Return and Reintegration Plan (JRRRP).
The relative stabilization in Burundi since the 2015 crisis and the largely peaceful political transition in May 2020 have offered new prospects for solutions to this now protracted refugee situation and triggered increased interest from Burundian refugees in returning home. Since January 2021, a total of 44,144 Burundian refugees have been assisted in their voluntary repatriation to Burundi, including 3,715 Burundian refugees from the DRC, 21,342 from Rwanda and 20,116 refugees from Tanzania. In addition, hundreds of Burundian refugees, mainly from Uganda, have undertaken self-organized returns.
In the first half of 2021, Burundian refugees continued to face multiple protection risks, particularly gender-based violence (GBV), including survival sex and early marriages due to limited access to livelihoods, school closures, overcrowded shelters, lack of domestic energy. the supply and reduction of humanitarian aid. Refugee children (over 50% of the refugee population) were exposed to particular risks. The situation of unaccompanied and separated children was of particular concern, as many suffered from neglect and adolescents increasingly resorted to negative coping mechanisms.
The fact that the RRRP remains underfunded with only 34.5% of the resources needed (as of August 31) has led to significant gaps, including reductions in food rations, inadequate shelter, lack of drugs, poor WASH infrastructure and insufficient livelihood activities. The vast majority of the refugee population remained dependent on humanitarian aid. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even worse. In Tanzania, the lack of nationwide measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the health and safety of PoCs during repatriations.