UNHCR inaugurates new camp in Burundi for Congolese refugees

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A group of Congolese refugees in Burundi (© UNHCR/B.Ntwari)

Congolese refugees fleeing eastern Democratic Republic of Congo will be hosted in a new refugee camp in Kavumu, Burundi. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says the new camp, to be opened on Wednesday with a total capacity of 13,000 refugees, is expected to accommodate up to 5,000 by the end of 2013.

For nearly four months, UNHCR and its partners have serviced the 81 hectares site granted by the Burundian authorities to meet the basic needs of refugees. The agency says that in addition to shelters, the camp has a school, a health center, as well as a 13km-long water gravity supply. The costs of the construction and operations of the camp for a year are estimated at 2.5 million USD. UNHCR Representative in Burundi Catherine Huck says “Building a camp means building an entire village".

Before arriving at the new camp, refugees stay 2-3 days in one of the two transit centers opened early April in the provinces of Cibitoke and Marie. They are then transferred to Kavumu camp where they are assisted by UNHCR and its partners. After receiving food, non-food items and medical assistance, refugees finally start building their shelters, with the assistance of technical partners. Over the past few months, many Congolese, threatened by armed groups and  inter-ethnic conflicts, crossed Burundi borders hoping to find refuge and security.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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