UNHCR's Grandi praises the progress being made in the return of refugees to Burundi and calls for more assistance.

UNHCR Praised Burundi for Refugee Situation

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has reiterated UNHCR's commitment to facilitating refugees' safe return from countries of sanctuary and their subsequent reintegration as situations in Burundi get better.

Since 2017, the UNHCR, the UN agency for refugees, has helped over 200,000 Burundian refugees return voluntarily from surrounding nations.

Grandi thanked President Evariste Ndayishime for Burundi's efforts toward stabilization as he concluded a two-day visit to the nation.

"There aren't many opportunities in the world for us to look for displacement solutions. Conflicts last much too long, but it gives me hope to see Burundian refugees making the decision to come home after spending years abroad. To ensure their sustained repatriation, we must all work together "Grandi remarked. "The government of Burundi and partners' efforts to support Burundian refugees' homecoming are positive."

Grandi traveled to the Rugombo region, where he met several recent returnees and saw how the UNHCR and its partners are assisting them in starting over. Transport, food, a monetary grant, and household goods for when they return to Burundi are all included in the assistance. The UNHCR has made the decision to step up its assistance for returns in light of the severity of the needs.

"Yet, improvement of access to services and means of subsistence in the places where they are returning requires the assistance of development actors. These Burundian citizens must be included in national development plans and efforts "Grandi continued.

Also, Burundi is kindly relocating 80,000 Congolese refugees. Grandi met refugees escaping the violent attacks and violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at the Cishemere transit camp, which is located in the northwest of the nation.

Grandi traveled by air from Burundi to Dodoma, Tanzania, where he met President Samia Suluhu Hassan. The development made toward improving conditions in Burundi to facilitate refugee repatriation was one of the topics highlighted. Grandi also hailed Tanzania's long heritage of embracing refugees and pushed for sustained efforts to address the needs of those fleeing war.

Tanzania is home to around 248,000 refugees and asylum seekers, the most of them are from Burundi and the DRC. The nation is home to the majority of Burundian refugees worldwide.

In order to safeguard and assist individuals who have been displaced, "our teams will continue to collaborate closely with the two Governments, allies, and donors, especially development actors," stated Grandi.

In this regard, UNHCR applauds the European Union's recent declaration that it will kindly donate €40 million over the ensuing years to numerous partners supporting Burundi-related solutions. With the money, Burundian refugees in the area and those who have already gone home will be able to live with dignity and safety. Help will cover legal support, literacy programs, gender-based violence prevention and response, resilience and protection support, and agricultural endeavors.