EU allocates €1.5m to support COVID-19 vaccination in largest Burundian refugees camp in Rwanda
The European Union has allocated the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Rwanda €1.5million to the UN refugees agency (UNHCR) to assist Burundian refugees sheltered in largest camps in Southeastern Rwanda, an official source disclosed Saturday to APA in Kigali.This generous contribution from the European Union aims to support the UN agency in engaging the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees, the statement said.
In addition, the fund will also be used to support access to legal assistance, strengthen child protection services, and support further the prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence prevention and response services for 45,703 Burundian refugees, it said.
Thanks to this partnership, UNHCR will also continue supporting the Government of Rwanda’s COVID-19 response plan in these challenging moments, by facilitating the roll out of their inclusive COVID-19 vaccination campaign, benefitting refugees and host communities.
The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine was given to refugees and asylum seekers in March 2021 in Rwanda.
“Thanks to this generous contribution, we are not only providing essential protection services and durable solutions to thousands of refugees in Mahama camp but we also support the Government of Rwanda efforts to include refugees in the national vaccination campaign against COVID19, in the spirit that no one should be no one left behind” said Ahmed Baba Fall, the UNHCR Representative in Rwanda.
Nicola Bellomo, Ambassador of the European Union in Rwanda said that through this new grant, the EU will help the efforts on the voluntary repatriation of refugees, as agreed between the Governments of Burundi and Rwanda, but also contribute to improving the life of refugees in
the Mahama camp, including through their inclusion in the Rwandan vaccination campaign.
“The intervention will specifically focus on protecting children and women against abuse, sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation,” he said.
Rwanda is currently hosting 127,557 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. 90% live in six refugee camps and transit centers.