In April 2015, Burundians fled their country for Rwanda following a political crisis and subsequent civil unrest. Currently, Rwanda hosts 69,000 Burundian refugees in Mahama Camp. Over 50 per cent of these refugees are children.
Children are the most vulnerable in a crisis and therefore the most affected. Over 4,000 are out of school, over 2,000 arrived unaccompanied or separated from their parents, and they often suffer from chronic diseases due to lack of nutrition and basic health care. The influx of refugees has resulted in overcrowding and limited access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene, increasing the likelihood of disease outbreaks. Women and children in transit are often also victims of sexual- or gender-based violence, causing additional psychological distress.
Five camps for refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were established in 1996, 1997, 2005, 2012 and 2014. The United Nations Refugee Agency - UNHCR - took full responsibility for these camps in 2012. There are currently about 76,200 Congolese refugees in Rwanda, as well as 5,200 asylum-seekers.