RWANDA CARE Responding to the Influx of Burundi Refugees into Rwanda

 Burundi, Rwanda
 Emergency Response
 22nd Apr 2015

Kigali, Rwanda (21/04/2015) - CARE in Rwanda have mobilized to meet the humanitarian needs of thousands of refugees fleeing tensions related to presidential elections in Burundi.

As of 21st April, more than eight thousand refugees have crossed the border into Rwanda. They are being housed in government camps in Bugesera and Nyanza. 59% percent of the refugees are children under the age of 17, and 56% are women, of whom at least 122 are pregnant. Around four hundred people are arriving at transit centers each day. There are critical unmet humanitarian needs

“Conditions in the camps are bad” commented Theophile Twahirwa, a member of CARE’s Rapid Assessment team. “This is a month of heavy rains in all parts of Rwanda and the waste from the transit centers are mixing with mud near where children are playing.”

CARE’s initial response includes the provision and installation of safe and hygienic systems for the management of waste generated by the thousands of refugees.

 “Sanitation and sexual and reproductive health are urgent priorities” adds Jeannette Nduwamariya, a gender expert with CARE Rwanda. “Women and girls face severe health risks without basic necessary sanitary materials. Infections can spread quickly”.

CARE’s early response includes the distribution of kits for safer birth and survival of newborns, family planning supplies and kits for improved reproductive health, complemented by health education and awareness-raising activities.

CARE will continue its close collaboration with the Government and other humanitarian actors to ensure our resources and expertise are deployed effectively to meet the urgent needs of those fleeing conflict.’

Media Note: CARE staff in Rwanda are available for interview.

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About CAREFounded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.

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