Start Fund disburses £442,327 for displaced people in Burundi
Following a recent injection of funding from the Start Fund for Burundian refugees in Rwanda, the Start Fund was alerted again last week to provide support to hundreds of thousands of people affected by violence in Burundi itself. On Friday 8 May a local project selection committee agreed to fund four agencies to respond for a total of £442,327.
The alerting agency explained the current situation in Burundi:
“The roots of the current insecurity relate to the nomination of the incumbent President Nkurunziza for a third Presidential term and the recruitment and training of former rebels and youth to support his political party to pressure communities to vote in favour of their party. As reported by media and human rights organisations, security threats against those perceived as opposing Nkurunziza and unrest in the capital have already prompted people to move across the border. To date, 24,795 people have crossed to Rwanda, 4,000 people to DRC and 2,105 to Tanzania. There have been some reports of people travelling north within Burundi to try and cross the border but not succeeding.”
The alert note went on to say:
“A 45 day grant from the Start Fund is critical to allow agencies to prepare to effectively meet short term needs of displaced households of access food, NFIs, water and health services. The lead in time for procurement of goods in this landlocked country, including time for clearance of customs may be as long as one month. If stock is not pre-positioned in country before people are displaced, they risk suffering an unnecessary delay to meet basic needs which will exacerbate the humanitarian situation... At the current time, most organisations in country are working on pre-funded development programmes. There is little availability within these budgets for disaster management or response. The Start Fund can allow organisations already present to transition to humanitarian response programming through effective preparedness and subsequently more quickly leverage funding from other donors as the scale of the crisis evolves.”
The alerting agency recommended an allocation size of £500,000 to enable agencies to prepare for the humanitarian needs.
The briefing note supplied by ACAPS for this alert supported this information. It describes how: “As of 5 May, at least 13 individuals have been killed, more than a hundred injured, and at least 600 arrested, and nearly 39,100 have fled to neighbouring countries. Inter-ethnic tensions, a rift between the military and the police, and an existing challenging humanitarian situation are all potential aggravating factors.”
The Allocation Committee convened on 6 May and agreed to activate the Start Fund for a total of £450,000. Two days later, five Start Network colleagues met in Bujumbura, Burundi, to discuss the six proposals received for this response. After a thorough discussion the project selection committee agreed to fund four proposals for a total of £442,327, which together will aim to reach up to 51,000 people over the next 45 days.
Photo: A previous Start Fund response in South Sudan