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Tanzania has just taken the remarkable step of offering citizenship to some 200,000 Burundian refugees, many of whom had fled from their homeland in 1972. Accommodated in three settlements in western Tanzania, the Burundians disprove many of the myths surrounding refugees. They live harmoniously with their neighbors. They are self-reliant. They pay taxes. And in addition to their own food, they produce tobacco and coffee for export, thereby contributing to the economy of their host county.
Five months ago, I visited a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) near Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The people living there first arrived in 2012 and 2013, having fled from armed groups who destroyed villages and killed civilians. By the time RI visited in May, donor governments had cut their financial support so drastically that only 27 percent of camp residents were getting food assistance. Fast forward to today, and I am sad to say the situation of IDPs living around Goma has not improved.