OCHA chief reaffirms continued humanitarian support to Burundi

Bujumbura, Burundi (PANA) - United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Ursula Mueller on Saturday completed a three-day mission to Burundi reaffirming her agency’s continued support to the strife-torn country.

“ We are committed to work together with partners to reduce humanitarian needs and pave the way for development initiatives to enhance community resilience”, Ms. Mueller said on behalf of the  United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

It was her first visit to Burundi in her role as the Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. She met with the Second Vice President of Burundi, the Minister of Finance, Cooperation and Economic Development, the Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock; the Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender; and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

Ms. Mueller highlighted the humanitarian community’s commitment to continue to work with the Government of Burundi in the spirit of mutual trust and respect in order to reduce humanitarian needs.

According a statement made available to PANA on Sunday, Government officials expressed their willingness to continue working together with the humanitarian community to meet the needs of the affected communities. Ms. Mueller commended the Government for its commitment to support those in need and noted that she would advocate for further humanitarian funding for Burundi.

She also met with humanitarian partners, the diplomatic corps and the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management and the Burundian Red Cross.

Ms. Mueller reiterated the support of the United Nations and its partners to the disaster preparedness work by the Government and the Red Cross and their efforts to improve the resilience of the most vulnerable communities.

On Friday, Ms. Mueller visited Songore transit centre in Ngozi Province for Burundians repatriated from Tanzania. She witnessed how humanitarian partners provide assistance and protection services to Burundians voluntarily repatriated from Tanzania prior to being transported to their places of origin. Humanitarian partners have assisted the return of over 45,000 Burundians since September 2017 and nearly 30,000 more are expected to return by the end of the year.

Ms. Mueller reiterated the importance of upholding international standards guiding the right to asylum and the voluntary nature of all returns.

She thanked donors for the generous support they have provided to Burundi over the years, however highlighting that the 2018 Burundi Humanitarian Response Plan is only 25.9 per cent funded making it one of the least funded plans globally.

“I call for increased donor support to humanitarian efforts in Burundi to address humanitarian needs and enable the country to move forward on the path of development”, Ms. Mueller said.

-0- PANA AR 9Sept2018

09 september 2018 08:46:43




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