June 3, 2015
By Simon Chambers
Political unrest in the east African country of Burundi after mass protests and a failed coup attempt has driven thousands of Burundians to flee both within the borders of the country and to neighbouring countries. The UN estimates that 35,000 refugees have fled to Kaguna, Tanzania, with an additional 10,000 waiting to cross the border into that community. Preliminary estimates list 110,000 displaced so far, with a projected 200,000 having fled by September.
PWRDF has pledged an initial grant of $10,000 through the ACT Alliance to provide household goods, clean water and sanitation to refugees and displaced people. The needs of those fleeing may change over time, and a rapid assessment is underway for what is most useful to provide to internally displaced people within Burundi.
PWRDF has worked with partners in Burundi since 1993. Today we received word from Nestor Niyukuri of the Diocese of Bujumbura that he was able to be back in the office finally. “The planning unit is not stable enough to harmonize the plan of activities on the ground,” he said. “The field staff have been afraid to use roads, or even to use their cars or motorcycles because of the noise, because of the risk to their lives. That’s the reason that, during the month of May, the work on our project was suspended for reasons of security.”
Niykuri told PWRDF that the situation is tense in the cities right now, but a little easier in the rural areas. But it is changing day to day.
PWRDF is praying, and asks you to join us in praying, for the safety of our partners in Burundi, and for a peaceful settlement of the situation.