Appeal Update #2: Burundi Refugee Crisis

February 4, 2016

Appeal #642-R
Appeal amount: $1,871,208
Funding Received/Pledged:  $853,710
In-Kind Support Received: $122,000
Note: This is an update to our July 21 update.


Political unrest and violence that began in Burundi in late April caused nearly 240,000 people to flee the country in 2015. The unrest has now continued into 2016. In addition to persecution because of political and social group affiliation, Burundians increasingly face food insecurity and environmental degradation as a consequence of civil unrest.

CWS Response

The CWS response is taking place in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.


CWS continues to lead the ACT Alliance response in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, which is home to 85,000 Burundian refugees and 62,000 Congolese refugees despite its intended capacity of 50,000. Partnering with Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service, CWS is expanding water and sanitation facilities, which are essential in overcrowded conditions. These expansions include purchasing and installing water storage tanks that supply 10,000 gallons of water daily, distributing 10,000 jerry cans and constructing latrines and bathing facilities. Additionally, CWS is providing protection and psychosocial services.

CWS has expanded the response in Tanzania to include Nduta and Mtendeli camps, new camps that opened in late 2015. Read about a new borehole well in Mtendeli Refugee Camp, which will soon be home to 35,000 Burundian refugees, here. Read about a CWS training in Nduta to raise awareness of human rights and prevent Sexual and Gender-Based Violence here.


The two cities of Kigali and Huye in Rwanda host an estimated 25,000 Burundians who have fled to Rwanda since the middle of 2015. CWS and partner YWCA Rwanda conducted a rapid assessment in those cities to determine refugees’ level of access to protection and essential services. Based on the results from the assessment, CWS is developing an urban response program to connect refugees with social and financial capital needed for independence. YWCA Rwanda also conducted a street theater campaign focused on reducing SGBV.


Burundi is home to refugees who fled from crises in neighboring countries, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through the work of the CWS-operated Resettlement Support Center Africa, 2,500 Congolese refugees in Burundi are able to access resettlement to the U.S. With humanitarian access to Burundi now limited, CWS is working with UNHCR to identify other means of assisting resettlement applicants inside Burundi.

Budget (in U.S. dollars)

TOTAL:  $1,871,208

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (designate 642-R, Tanzania Burundian Refugee Crisis). Donations to our emergency response efforts around the globe may also be made online.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.