Over 1,500 Burundians voluntarily repatriated since February 2020
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Governments of Tanzania and Burundi have resumed voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees on Thursday 6 February 2020. At least 1,500 Burundians have been voluntarily repatriated since then. The goal of repatriating 2,000 refugees per week, as per the Tripartite agreement with UNHCR (of November 2019), has not yet been reached.
The returnees were received in Gitara (Makamba province) and Kinazi (Muyinga province) transit centers. Per a key recommendation from the last Tripartite meeting, UNHCR has increased cash transfer amounts for returnees, increasing from 70,000 to 140,000 Fbu for adults, and from 35,000 to 70,000 Fbu for children. The World Food Programme and UNHCR also provided a three-month food ration (included maize flour, beans, oil and salt) and non-food items (buckets, blankets, mats, cloths and sanitary towels).
According to UNHCR, a total of 335,642 Burundian refugees have remained in neighbouring countries, of whom over 168,000 are in Tanzania. Since the start of voluntary repatriation on 7 September 2017, UNHCR has facilitated the return of 81,221 Burundian refugees in the region (as of 10 March 2020).