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UNHCR announces 10.8mln USD for 2016 refugee response in Rwanda

KIGALI, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Tuesday announced it has earmarked 10.8 million U.S. dollars to help refugees in Rwanda.

The UN organization said the money is for the first phase of the 2016 aid plan in response to 147,000 refugees living in six camps across the Eastern African country.

"As we continue to fundraise on behalf of refugees during the course of the year, we hope to increase the amount we are signing today," Saber Azam, the UNHCR representative to Rwanda said.

There are more than 74,000 Congolese refugees residing in Rwanda, who fled from enduring violence and lawlessness in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The rest are mostly from neighboring Burundi, where unrest sparked by its presidential election last year forced tens of thousands of people to flee.

The UN refugee agency promised to ensure basic humanitarian standards for both groups, and in the meantime design a more sustainable model of assistance.

"It is critical to transition from emergency facilities and standards to more durable conditions of life, while ensuring that protection and basic needs continue to be met." the organization said in a statement.

In 2015, the refugee commission contributed a total of 34.9 million U.S. dollars to refugees in Rwanda, but with the sudden influx of Burundian refugees, more money is needed this year.

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