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Rwanda Spending $94 Million On Burundian Refugees

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
4:29 pm
Rwanda Spending $94 Million On Burundian Refugees

Burundian refugees at Mahama camp fetching water

Burundian refugees are weighing heavily on Rwanda. The country has planned spending over $94 million on about 100,000 Burundian refugees in 2016 alone.

Every Burundian refugee in Rwanda is entitled to $950, annually, or $2.6 per day. This is $0.4 higher than what an average Rwandan spends.

The country is currently hosting 74,526 Burundi refugees, but the number is expected to exceed 100,000, making Rwanda spend roughly $95 million. This money can build an electric dam of 30MW or pay salary for Rwanda Police Force for seven years.

“We signed a tripartite agreement with UN High Commission for Refugees and other partners where each and every one commits to contribute in a way or another,” Frederic Ntawukuriryayo, the Communication Officer for Rwanda’s Ministry for Disaster Management and Refugee Preparedness told KT Press.

Ntawukuriryayo said when Rwanda builds schools and pays teachers, UNHCR and other partners may decide to extend infrastructure and human resources as demand increases. In other instances, when Rwanda builds a health center in a camp, UNHCR can contribute ambulances.

East Africa is expected to spend $313.8 million on 330,000 refugees at the end of 2016, from 214,124 in October 2015. Rwanda’s contribution represents 30% of the total expense and is the second biggest contributor to the budget.

Tanzania, where refugees will hit 170,000 people is set to spend $174 million, representing 56% of total amount.  Uganda and DRC are the lowest contributors to the budget. They will host a total 60,000. Their input represents 7% of the total amount.

Meanwhile, Rwanda signed the tripartite agreement with UNHCR and 10 partners Tuesday afternoon whereby  $10.8 million will be committed for the first phase of 2016 for DRC and Burundi refugees’ direct programs in Rwanda.

“As we continue to fundraise on behalf of refugees during the course of the year, we hope to increase the amount we are signing today,” reads a communiqué from the office of Dr Azam Saber, UNHCR representative in Rwanda.

Rwanda hosts a total 147,000 DRC and Burundian refugees settled in six refugee camps across the country.

Established on 40 hectares, Mahama refugee camp in Kirehe, Eastern province is the biggest.  It hosts 48,303 Burundian refugees who fled the crisis that resulted from President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to stay on power against the will of citizen in April 2015.