International Medical Corps is deploying experts to Tanzania, where more than 117,800 Burundian refugees have fled following escalating violence. The simmering conflict in Burundi deteriorated Friday when heavily armed gunmen stormed military installations in the capital city of Bujumbura. Since April, hundreds of people have been killed and more than 200,000 have fled the country as a result of political violence. International Medical Corps’ initial team is comprised of a team leader, a logistician, and a medical expert, and will identify ways in which they can best assist those affected by the crisis, particularly those in already overstretched refugee camps. We are prepared to deploy additional staff in the days and weeks to come.
The influx has exacerbated already stressed resources, and more refugees are arriving every day. Unless there is a halt to the violence, humanitarian needs in Burundi and neighboring countries could rapidly increase.
International Medical Corps has worked in Burundi since 1995 and today administers programs in 4 of the country’s 17 provinces. These programs include primary health care, prevention of sexual and gender-based violence and nutrition interventions.