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EU funds reintegration of former Burundian refugees

Posted on Fri, Feb-22-2013

Tanzania  - The European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) has contributed EUR 1.2 million towards IOM’s efforts to promote sustainable reintegration for the most vulnerable of some 34,000 former Burundian refugees from Tanzania who returned home at the end of 2012.

IOM’s reintegration project involves community assessment as well as profiling of over 10,000 returnee families and support for access to land.  In addition, the project will provide shelter for up to 2,000 very vulnerable households and start-up livelihood assistance or vocational training for some 500 families, ensuring that the receiving communities also benefit from income generating activities.

The community assessment will include the mapping of land to allocate available resources, economic safety nets, enhancing main coping mechanisms and an overview of how much the return process has affected local communities.

This will be complemented by the profiling exercise, which will gather data on households’ family composition, socio-economic status, education levels, vocational skills, and expected or preferred livelihood activities after return.

The results of both the assessment and profiling will be shared with the government of Burundi and relevant humanitarian partners involved in the reintegration process.

The project is part of a mechanism established in the framework of an inter-agency reintegration action plan, which was approved by the Burundian government, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society partners in December 2012.

The Burundian refugees have been living in Mtabila and Nyarugusu refugee camps in western Tanzania since fleeing communal violence in Burundi in 1993. Mtabila camp was closed last year following an assessment by UNHCR and the government of Tanzania which showed that only 2,700 of the refugees in the camp were in need of international protection.  

Some 35,000 former refugees returned to Burundi last year with assistance from IOM, UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies. Returns from Nyarugusu camp are continuing, with some 1,500 former refugees awaiting a final decision on their status.

For more information, please contact  

Damien Thuriaux
IOM Tanzania
Tel: +255 786 585 853
Email: dthuriaux@iom.int