IOM, UNHCR Hold Training on Tackling Refugee Resettlement Fraud in Burundi
Burundi - In a bid to ensure a fraud-free environment in the refugee resettlement process, IOM jointly organized with UNHCR a one-day training held in the capital Bujumbura.
The training was attended by delegates from organizations including UNHCR, IOM, the National Office for the Protection of Refugees (ONPRA), Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA), Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and International Rescue Committee (IRC).
The aim of the training was to empower organizations working with refugees to identify potential risks of fraudulent resettlement practices, further train partners on procedures or mechanisms to put in place for the prevention of such fraud.
According to UNHCR’s records, over 20,000 refugees in Burundi (both in camps and urban refugees) are eligible for resettlement to a third country. The majority of applicants in IOM’s resettlement program are Congolese refugees.
The training focused on types of resettlement fraud, and how participants can play a role and employ different mechanisms to fight such fraud available in their organizations.
It noted that every organization should put in place a strong mechanism to combat resettlement fraud and highlighted the fact that all services provided to the public by IOM, UNHCR and their partners are free.
“Anyone seeking a compensation of any kind for resettlement is fraudulent, and does not act on behalf of UNHCR or IOM. Such behavior should be reported to the competent law enforcement authorities or UNHCR and IOM. Anyone who pays for these services facilitates fraud and will not benefit of resettlement, nor claim any compensation from UNHCR or IOM,” said IOM Burundi Chief of Mission Kristina Mejo.
From October 2015 to 22 September 2016, IOM Burundi helped to resettle over 1,010 refugees. The majority went to Canada (49 percent), USA (17.6 percent), UK via Romania (14.8 percent) and Belgium (9 percent).