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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Germany -East Africa: $18m for refugees

The Federal Republic of Germany last week announced a donation of €16.5 million (about $18 million) to support refugees in East Africa. Tanzania is of recent host to several thousand displaced people  from Burundi. “We welcome the generous contribution of the German Government and people; their consistent support for UNHCR, in this case funds for the operation in Tanzania and two other countries which have received Burundian refugees will definitely help to fill some of the large gaps in the response to our on-going appeal,” Joyce Mends-Cole, the UNHCR Representative in Tanzania said. Of this, €14 million ($15 million) will go to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food assistance to both Burundian and Congolese refugees in Tanzania. “We trust that our contribution will help support Tanzania’s exceptional humanitarian leadership,” Ambassador Egon Kochanke said. The remaining €2.5 million is for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for helping Burundian refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. Amb. Kochanke said: “Tanzania has proved itself to be a safe-haven for a large number of Burundian refugees and that the German government wishes to commend the people and the government for welcoming so many of their neighbours from Burundi.” More than 116,000 refugees have fled to Tanzania since April as a result of political unrest in Burundi with 64,000 Congolese refugees already in the country which makes Tanzania home to over 180,000 refugees. To accommodate the large influx of Burundian refugees, the Government of Tanzania has this year re-opened three former refugee camps in north-western Tanzania. In his comments, WFP Country Representative Richard Ragan said that in addition to assisting the refugees themselves, this generous contribution will also help boost the local economy “Through WFP’s market access initiative, maize – the staple food in the refugee basket – is procured locally here in Tanzania,” Ragan remarked.

Source: East African Business Week