A ShelterBox response team is currently in Tanzania to assess how we can support refugee camps as political violence in neighbouring Burundi causes 120,000 people to flee the country.
Burundi was thrown into turmoil when the president of the East African country made a bid for a third five-year term in office, which is said to be a violation of the peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war in 2006. This announcement has caused massive political unrest, leading to more than 70 people being killed and hundreds more wounded in opposition protests.
The violence has led tens of thousands of people to cross the border and seek refuge in neighbouring countries. More than 50,000 people have now arrived in Tanzania since the conflict began.
A ShelterBox team, made up of Todd Finklestone (US) and Budge Pountney (UK) are in Tanzania to see how ShelterBox can assist in the extension of the well-established, and now overcrowded, Nyarugusu refugee camp to provide adequate shelter for families arriving in the country.
Earlier this week, the team went to the region of Kigoma near the border with Burundi where many people enter the country on boats run by the Organization for Migration (IOM).
Todd said: ‘Each day, 120 refugees are entering Tanzania through this southern border crossing, excluding the amount of refugees coming from further north.
‘The election in Burundi takes place on 15 July and crossings into Tanzania are expected to increase in the next few weeks.’
The ShelterBox operations team is also looking at the possibility of working with the International Organisation of Migration to bring shelter to the thousands of people who have left their homes but still remain in Burundi.
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