Burundi

Situation Report

Highlights

  • 1.7 million Burundians need humanitarian assistance in 2020
  • Over 1,500 Burundians voluntarily repatriated since February 2020
  • David Carden, OCHA Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, completes a three-day mission to Burundi
  • An additional US$10 million needed to implement the 2020 Ebola operational plan
David Carden, OCHA Deputy Director for West & Central Africa, ends a successful mission to Burundi on 19 February by meeting people affected by recent natural disasters in the relocation site of Winterekwa in Bujumbura province. © OCHA 2020/ Lauriane Wolfe
David Carden, OCHA Deputy Director for West & Central Africa, ends a successful mission to Burundi on 19 February by meeting people affected by recent natural disasters in the relocation site of Winterekwa in Bujumbura province. © OCHA 2020/ Lauriane Wolfe

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Burundi

Situation Report

Key Figures

1.74M
People in need (2020)
630K
People targeted (2020)
100K
People displaced (2020)
1.74M
Food insecure people

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Burundi

Situation Report

Funding

$113.5M
Required
$15.5M
Received
14%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Jutta Hinkkanen

Head of Office

Lauriane Wolfe

Public Information Officer

Annick Ndayiragije

Public Information Officer

Burundi

Situation Report
Background
HNO 2020 © OCHA Burundi
HNO 2020 © OCHA Burundi

1.7 million Burundians need humanitarian assistance in 2020

On Friday 6 February, OCHA Burundi published this year’s Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO)– a comprehensive analysis of the overall humanitarian situation and associated needs for 2020. This report is a result of months of work by humanitarian partners in Burundi.

The analysis of needs for 2020 shows a humanitarian situation comparable to 2019, with the number of people in humanitarian need decreasing slightly from 1.77 million in 2019 to 1.74 million in 2020. Of those in need in 2020, around 53 per cent are women, 58 per cent children, and 15 per cent people living with disabilities. To respond to these needs, the humanitarian community will target 630,000 of the most vulnerable people.

This figure includes three priority population groups: internally displaced persons, returnees and other categories of population affected by emergencies. Sub-groups of populations have also been taken into account because of their vulnerability, including host communities, people living with disabilities, single-parent households and separated and/or unaccompanied children. As last year, the majority of people in need reside in the Northern and Eastern provinces of the country.

As outlined in the HNO 2020, Burundi is among the countries most susceptible to climate change and recurrent natural disasters continue to regularly impact the humanitarian situation; they are responsible for over three quarters (79 per cent) of internal displacement (there are currently some 112,522 IDPs* in Burundi) and often cause localized emergencies. A total of 1,586 natural disasters, mostly torrential rains, floods and high winds, were recorded between October 2018 and December 2019, with impacts including displacement, total or partial destruction of crops, homes, classrooms, water networks and health centres.

In 2020, humanitarian partners estimate that a total of US$114 million will be required to respond to the needs of the 630,000-target population.

*As of January 2020

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Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination
Arrival of Burundian returnees at the Gitara transit centre in Makamba province, in February 2020. Photo: ©UNHCR 2020/Bernard Ntwari
Arrival of Burundian returnees at the Gitara transit centre in Makamba province, in February 2020. Photo: ©UNHCR 2020/Bernard Ntwari

Over 1,500 Burundians voluntarily repatriated since February 2020

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Governments of Tanzania and Burundi have resumed voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees on Thursday 6 February 2020. At least 1,500 Burundians have been voluntarily repatriated since then. The goal of repatriating 2,000 refugees per week, as per the Tripartite agreement with UNHCR (of November 2019), has not yet been reached.

The returnees were received in Gitara (Makamba province) and Kinazi (Muyinga province) transit centers. Per a key recommendation from the last Tripartite meeting, UNHCR has increased cash transfer amounts for returnees, increasing from 70,000 to 140,000 Fbu for adults, and from 35,000 to 70,000 Fbu for children. The World Food Programme and UNHCR also provided a three-month food ration (included maize flour, beans, oil and salt) and non-food items (buckets, blankets, mats, cloths and sanitary towels).

According to UNHCR, a total of 335,642 Burundian refugees have remained in neighbouring countries, of whom over 168,000 are in Tanzania. Since the start of voluntary repatriation on 7 September 2017, UNHCR has facilitated the return of 81,221 Burundian refugees in the region (as of 10 March 2020).

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Burundi

Situation Report
Feature
David Carden, OCHA Deputy Director for West & Central Africa, visits displaced people at the Winterekwa relocation site where 3,740 people lost their homes and crops due to torrential rains and strong winds in December 2019. © OCHA 2020/Lauriane Wolfe
David Carden, OCHA Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, visits internally displaced people at the Winterekwa relocation site where 3,740 people lost their homes and their crops due to torrential rains and strong winds in December 2019. © OCHA 2020/Lauriane Wolfe

David Carden, OCHA Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, completes a three-day mission to Burundi

From 16 to 19 February 2020, OCHA’s Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, David Carden, carried out a three-day mission to the Republic to assess the ongoing humanitarian response and discuss how to strengthen resilience-building efforts with key stakeholders including Government representatives.

On 19 February, Mr. Carden visited Gatumba district in Bujumbura Rural province, which currently hosts nearly 10,000 people displaced by torrential rains that fell on 28-29 January 2020. He also visited the relocation site of Winterekwa, in Bujumbura Mairie Province, where hundreds of internally displaced persons are being sheltered from floods and landslides due to unseasonal rains. Natural disasters account for 79 per cent of internal displacement, and the last five months have been hard-hit with unusually heavy rainfall and strong winds, causing severe flooding and landslides. He witnessed how humanitarian partners are working with extremely limited resources to provide humanitarian assistance and protection services to the most vulnerable.

During his visit, Mr. Carden met with representatives of international non-governmental organizations, the Humanitarian Country Team, donors as well as the OCHA Burundi team. He also met the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender. Mr. Carden highlighted the humanitarian community’s commitment to continue to work with the Government of Burundi in the spirit of mutual trust and respect to reduce humanitarian needs, and the importance of collaborating together to facilitate principled humanitarian action.

Government officials expressed their willingness to continue working together with the humanitarian community to meet the needs of the affected communities. Mr. Carden commended the Government for its commitment to support those in need and for its efforts in improving the resilience of vulnerable communities. He also promised that he would advocate for further humanitarian funding for Burundi, in particular for replenishing emergency stocks to allow partners to respond rapidly to different disasters.

“Humanitarian partners’ capacity to respond given the lack of emergency stocks is concerning. They need donors’ support now to ensure an adequate response capacity to address humanitarian needs in the coming months” he said.

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Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination
The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight Against AIDS hosts a conference on preparedness against COVID-19 at Hotel Source du Nil on Friday 6 March 2020. © OCHA 2020/Lauriane Wolfe
The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight Against AIDS hosts a conference on preparedness against COVID-19 at Hotel Source du Nil on Friday 6 March 2020. © OCHA 2020/Lauriane Wolfe

Burundi takes measures to prepare against COVID-19

Although there have been no alerts of suspect cases of COVID-19, the Government of Burundi is taking proactive and precautionary measures to prepare against a potential case. The work Burundi has undertaken on Ebola preparedness has served as a strong basis for a possible response to COVID-19. Since the new virus outbreak started, health partners have been working on obtaining an emergency budget for preparedness activities as part of a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, which every country around the world is being encouraged to draft, as per the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global guidelines, the ‘COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan’ (SPRP). The SPRP outlines the public health measures that need to be taken to support countries to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

WHO, with help from OCHA and partners, has supported the Ministry of Public Health and the Fights Against AIDS (MoH) to draft a scenario-based 72 Hour Response Plan. UN agencies and INGOs are looking at ways to support the MoH with further costs for implementing additional infection, prevention and control measures and increasing surveillance at airports and other border entry points. The MoH is awaiting a response to a funding proposal it submitted last week to the World Bank (Priority Actions to contain, detect and prevent COVID-19) requesting around 5 billion Burundian Francs (around US$2.5 million).

On Thursday 12 March, in a bid to prepare against COVID-19, the MoH amended its two-week quarantine measure to include all travellers coming from all EU countries or that have been to any EU country in the 14 days prior to arriving in Burundi. At present, roughly 35 individuals are being accommodated at Bujumbura’s government-owned Hotel Source du Nil. The public will not be permitted access to the hotel premises for the next two months at least. Prior to this plan’s enforcement, the MoH hosted a town hall awareness meeting at the hotel on 5 March, inviting its staff, police, the Government’s Civil Protection unit, and other potential frontline workers in COVID-19 response to be briefed on COVID-19 to prepare them for the days ahead. The aim of the session was to reassure the hotel staff by explaining why these precautionary measures are necessary, and what healthcare workers will do to ensure everyone on the hotel premises is protected.

Burundi’s Heads of health districts attended a briefing session last week, led by WHO and the MoH on infection prevention and control and surveillance measures against COVID-19. They are expected to cascade this information as soon as possible by organising similar briefing sessions for their health staff in their respective districts.

Today, Friday 13 March, the Resident Coordinator for Burundi led a workshop, with OCHA and WHO as focal points, to develop an internal UN contingency plan and a business continuity plan for COVID-19.

Stay up to date on COVID-19 here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

Recommendations on key preventive measures against COVID-19 can be found here: https://hr.un.org/page/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

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