European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Energised after having their morning cup of hot porridge provided by the UN World Food Programme with EU support, children play jump rope while waiting for a ride to Nyarugusu refugee camp. © WFP Tanzania/Tala Loubieh

What are the needs?

Over the last decades, Tanzania has hosted thousands of refugees fleeing conflict and violence in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. When the civil war in Burundi ended in 2005, most Burundian refugees started to gradually return home, and Tanzania closed all but one camp (Nyarugusu) hosting refugees mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Refugee movement into Tanzania started again after the announcement that Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term in April 2015. The announcement was met with strong opposition, riots and unrest and pushed over 200 000 people to flee Burundi and seek refuge in neighbouring countries – half of them in Tanzania.                                        

Already hosting refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nyarugusu camp was expanded to accommodate the new refugees, and new camps are planned to decongest the site.

How are we helping?

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is closely monitoring the Burundi crisis. It is supporting its humanitarian partners to meet the immediate needs of Burundian refugees in the region, including in Tanzania.

With the Nyarugusu camp more than doubling in size – and becoming the third most populous single refugee camp in the world, EU humanitarian aid has been channeled to address vital needs such as shelter, water and food.

Overcrowding in camps poses serious concerns for health and the overall protection of the refugees. Following a cholera outbreak, water and sanitation has been improved with support from the European Commission, in order to stop the possible spread of diseases and epidemics.

The Commission's operational partners have also taken measures to reduce the risks of violence and abuse of refugees, while providing support and protection to the victims.

Last updated 18/04/2016