<>Switzerland has been supporting since 1994 programmes of protection, return and reintegration of the refugees or displaced persons in the Great Lakes region. Humanitarian actions in favour of displaced persons are intended to compensate the consequences of the lack of the state social structures and the collapse of traditional survival strategies. They act in a manner that the populations present in refugee camps or those in the process of return, as well as the hosting communities, can remain economically and socially active and can keep, or even regain, their ability to care for themselves.
If the management of thousands of displaced families proves to be very complex, their return on their homeland is not easier to conceive. Indeed, the issues relating to the rights to property and the access to land, as well as the population pressure, remain immediate challenges in Rwanda and Burundi.
In this context, the Refugees and displaced Programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) acts on three levels:
it finances many actions of rehabilitation, reconstruction and security in areas marked by conflicts: recovery programmes in the agricultural, pastoral and fishing area; basic health infrastructure; water and sanitation infrastructures; humanitarian demining in Burundi, etc. To do this, partners of Swiss humanitarian aid are MSF - Suisse, Medair, ICRC, the Swiss Demining Foundation (SDF) and several local organizations.