Belgium donates 1.5m Euros for Burundian refugees in Rwanda


L-R: Saber Azam, UNHCR representative in Rwanda; Arnout Pauwels, the Belgium ambassador to Rwanda; and Jean Pierre de Margerie, WFP representative shake hands after announcing the donation. (Theogene Nsengimana)

The embassy of Belgium in Rwanda has announced a donation of 1.5m Euros (Rwf1.212 billion) for Burundian refugees in the country.

Part of the funds (€1m) will be channeled to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) while the rest will go to the World Food Programme (WFP).

Arnout Pauwels, the Belgium ambassador to Kigali, said the contribution is to support social protection of Burundian refugees in Rwanda.

He said, “Our bilateral direct support is concentrated in energy, health and decentralisation. We have deemed it necessary for us to complement our support with humanitarian interventions. Belgium will continue to monitor developments as regards to the refugee situation and will support initiatives to restore peace and stability in Burundi as well.”

Azam Saber, the UNHCR representative to Rwanda, said the funds will be used to address some salient issues in Mahama refugee camp like water provision that is a major challenge in the camp, construction of drainages in and around the camp and construction of latrines.

He, however, noted that the government of Burundi should spearhead restoration of peace in the country so that Burundians can repatriate.

There is no better solution for Burundian refugees than repatriating, he said.

The WFP representative to Rwanda Jean Pierre de Margerie, said the funds will provide a one month food ration for Burundians in Mahama refugee camp. The camp currently hosts about 70,000 refugees.