More than 128,000 Congolese and Burundian refugees living in Rwanda will each have an extra Rwf230 ($0.2) to live on – following Belgium’s €1.5 million support.
Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDMAR) in collaboration with UN refugee Agency UNHCR gives Rwf6850 monthly stipend to the refugees.
The amount is given to each family, but refugees claim it is a drop in an ocean.
MIDIMAR understands the current stipend is ‘so small’ but has pushed efforts to court for more support.
This morning, the Kingdom of Belgium donated €1.5 million to the refugees living in Gihembe refugee camp in Gicumbi district, Northern Rwanda.
“We are enhancing advocacy to get means enough to solve the challenges you face. We are partnering with different agencies with refugees under their docket to look for durable solutions,” Jeanne d’Arc Debonheur, Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs told refugees.
Thousands of Congolese and Burundian refugees flocked to Rwanda following civil wars and conflicts in their home countries since 1996.
With government recently reducing 10% on aid they were receiving, Minister Debonheur told refugees the percentage has been below other countries’ reduction where some went as high as 30%.
Minister Debonheur said the government of Rwanda will continue to teach vocational trainings to refugees as a way of helping them create jobs.
After handing over the support to refugees through UNHCR and MIDMAR, Belgium ambassador to Rwanda, Benoît Ryelandt expressed his gratitude to the Government of Rwanda for protection granted to the refugees.
“My country was impressed by the warm welcome Rwanda gives to refugees and how it treats them. That is why Belgium took the first step to support the refugees living here,” he said.