Burundi

Situation Report

Highlights

  • COVID-19 Situation Update
  • The 2021A cropping season (sept 2020 to sept 2021) is likely to be worse increasing the number of people suffering from food insecurity
  • Cash transfers, an important tool in emergency humanitarian interventions in Burundi
  • Humanitarian actors appeal for funding for hotline 109
  • CERF funds to the rescue of vulnerable people
Fields of crops in the valley of the Murembwe river in @RumongeProvince are inundated by the floods of this river having overflowed, after 3 successive days of intense rains. © isanganiro
Fields of crops in the valley of the Murembwe river in @RumongeProvince are inundated by the floods of this river having overflowed, after 3 successive days of intense rains. © isanganiro

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Burundi

Situation Report

Key Figures

1.74M
People in need (2020)
887K
People targeted (2020)
127K
People displaced (2020)
1.74M
Food insecure people
751
Cases of COVID-19
1
COVID-19 Related Deaths
114K
Voluntary returnees (30 november)

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Burundi

Situation Report

Funding

$197.9M
Required
$79M
Received
40%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Jutta Hinkkanen

Head of Office

Annick Ndayiragije

Public Information Officer

Burundi

Situation Report
Background
Evolution of COVID-19 cases in Burundi
Evolution of COVID-19 cases in Burundi

COVID-19 Situation Update

Total number of tests performed: 75,405 (as of 17 December)

Total cases: 756 (as of 17 December)

Total cases cured: 678 (90%) (as of 17 December)

Total number of deaths: 1

Provinces / districts affected: 25/47 health districts (53%) are affected, distributed in 14/18 provinces (78%). The majority of cases (66%) are found in the city of Bujumbura, in 3 health districts: Bujumbura north (160 cases), Bujumbura center (228 cases) and Bujumbura south (119 cases).

Flights / Borders: Since November 9, 2020, commercial flights have resumed at Ndadaye Melchior International Airport, after more than 5 months of closure due to COVID-19. One of the conditions demanded by the civil aviation authorities is compliance with preventive measures and a 72-hour quarantine in one of the hotels in Bujumbura on arrival.

A total of one hundred (100) cases were notified during the month of November, 83% of these cases are imported but this information is linked to the fact that the tests are mainly carried out at the borders (airport and land entry point of Kobero , in Muyinga province).

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Burundi

Situation Report
Background
Carte ©PAM
Carte ©PAM

The 2021A cropping season (sept 2020 to sept 2021) is likely to be worse increasing the number of people suffering from food insecurity

The latest Food Security Classification Framework (IPC) analysis conducted in the third quarter of 2020 estimated that about 1.3 million people are in crisis and emergency (IPC phase 3 and 4) .

Since this analysis, the food security context has been negatively impacted by natural disasters phenomena on main crops and some estimates suggest that the number of food insecure people could increase significantly starting from January 2021.

This is supported by the delay in sowing which started at the end of November in several regions and the extension of the 2020B cropping season (October to December 2020) causing an overlap of cropping seasons. Information relayed on social networks indicates that in the congo nil ridge region, at the beginning of December, some crop fields in the valley of the Murembwe river of the province of Rumonge were inundated by floods due to the river overflow after 3 successive days of intense rains. In the depressions in the north and east of the country, with already low rainfall, their irregularity and reduction have already caused a water deficit, drying up shallow water sources and a decrease in agricultural production. Particularly in certain communes of the province of Kirundo, the main crops such as beans and maize have wilted due to the water deficit, especially in the Gisenyi area in the commune of Busoni. The rainfall regime is one of the determining factors of agricultural production in Burundi. As other countries, Burundi is affected by climate change effects . At times, drought can occur in the generally rainy season, while at others heavy rains fall in the supposed dry season.

The 2020B season (October to December 2020) , depending on the regions, was affected in variable ways by several factors: the main one being the climatic conditions but also availability of agricultural inputs, availability of land, in particular in the areas of reception of returnees, and prevalence of crop pest diseases. Throughout the 2020B season, rainfall conditions far from normal were generally observed, either in deficit or in excess. This confirms the weather forecast for September to December from the Geographical Institute of Burundi (IGEBU). At the same time, an increase in the prices of most staple foods linked to the decrease of their availability on the market was experienced. The October 2020 World Food Program (WFP) mobile-based vulnerability analysis and mapping mVAM survey shows that the proportion of markets with more than 5 tons of supplies continues to decline. It went from 37% in September 2020 to 28% in October for pulses. At the same period in 2019, this proportion was 33%. For rice, this proportion fell from 37% in September 2020 to 30% in October. At the same period in 2019, this proportion was 28%. For corn, this proportion fell from 22% in September 2020 to 12% in October. At the same period in 2019, this proportion was 19%. Consequently, the prices of beans and corn observed in October 2020 know a monthly increase of 10% compared to those of September 2020. All these factors risk influencing a poor performance of the cropping season of 2021A (Sept 2020 to Sept 2021).

 Preliminary results of the SMART survey

Data validation from the nutritional survey (SMART) conducted in August - September 2020 by the Ministry of Health is underway. Preliminary results show a deterioration of the nutritional situation in Burundi, with a prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) of 6.1% in 2020 against 4.5% in 2018 and 5.1% in 2019. A total of 31 Health districts out of 47 have GAM rates between 5%  and 9.9% and are classified as median nutritional status according to the new 2018 WHO thresholds. The district of Ruyigi has a prevalence of MAG of 10.9%, the highest in the country; whilst the lowest prevalence is observed in the health district of Gitega with 2.2%. At the national level, the rate of chronic malnutrition highlights a situation of nutritional crisis even though it has fallen from 54% in 2019 to 52.2% (51.4 - 53) in 2020.

This situation of acute malnutrition is due to a multitude of underlying factors, in particular for children, including the incidence of childhood illnesses, inappropriate care and feeding practices for infants and young children, inadequate hygiene and sanitation conditions, low dietary diversification, and chronic food insecurity. All of these factors are exacerbated by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 which has shocked children already living in a very fragile situation.

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Burundi

Situation Report
Background
Distribution of cash to refugees in Kavumu camp in Cankuzo province © “Stefan PATROI @ WFP
Distribution of cash to refugees in Kavumu camp in Cankuzo province © “Stefan PATROI @ WFP

Cash transfers, an important tool in emergency humanitarian interventions in Burundi

Over the past decades, Burundi has hosted refugees mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in five refugee camps located in the provinces of Ngozi, Muyinga, Cankuzo and Ruyigi. While UNHCR provides them with general assistance, the World Food Program (WFP) supports around 50,000 refugees (10,000 households) by providing them with monthly food rations including grains, beans, vegetable oil and salt in order to meet their emergency food needs.

 

Since July 2020, thanks to a generous donation from the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs (GFFO) which complements the funding of the German Humanitarian Assistance Office (BHA), WFP has been able to provide an additional share in cash equivalent to 5,000 Burundian francs per person per month for 50,000 refugees through its partner Ecobank Burundi to complete assistance in kind. The cash transfer helps refugees buy fresh food that greatly improves the quality of the diet in nutrients and increase the variety of their meals.

From July to November 2020, WFP assisted 49,184 refugees for an amount of 972,057,600 Burundian francs.

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Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination
©OCHA Burundi
©OCHA Burundi

Humanitarian actors appeal for funding of 109 hotline

Hotline 109 was created in late 2015 for a three-month pilot period by the Burundi Red Cross (CRB), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Vision, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (OCHA). Its main objective being "Contributing to humanitarian accountability to communities affected by natural disasters in Burundi and strengthening humanitarian response through the promotion of a two-way communication between affected and / or displaced communities and the humanitarian community ”.

This year, the budget for the activities of the hotline, also known as the green line, is covered at only 26% of the funds needed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and IOM for a period of five months. This risks slowing down the momentum and damaging the achievements made in terms of communication. Main priorities  identified by the Red Cross and its partners range from the needs in human resources, equipment and operations at the national level as well as awareness-raising activities.

The hotline operates 24 hours a day and its operators receive calls coming from Burundi but also from neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania on various needs of assistance. These needs are then referred to the humanitarian actors concerned, according to the sector of intervention. According to information shared by the CRB, on 30 September, 11,778 people used the helpline for assistance. Of these, 9,683 are men. Most of the  callers (8,289, or 70.4%), come from affected communities located throughout Burundi.

Services offered by this line allow affected communities to request assistance or report their needs. The public trusts this hotline as shared user information is protected and treated with confidentiality. As of September 30, 2020, 8,906 cases have been processed, while 2,701 have been referred to the relevant agencies.

To ensure the continuity of the essential activities of the hotline, 203,962 USD (74% of the total budget) is needed to cover 2021needs of. Services provided by the hotline are valuable for the beneficiaries but also for the humanitarian community that quickly responds to callers' concerns, allowing, in addition to retrieve feedbacks on the quality of the assistance provided.

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Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination
Children crossing the water in Gatumba a few days after the floods @OCHA Burundi 2020
Children crossing the water in Gatumba a few days after the floods @OCHA Burundi 2020

CERF funds to the rescue of vulnerable people

In July 2020, the UN Emergency Coordinator announced his decision to allocate $ 5 million to Burundi to meet the pressing needs for vulnerable people. After analyzing the context, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator and in agreement with the country's humanitarian team, two lines of response were identified, in particular a) assistance to the 30,000 people affected by the April Gatumba floods - May 2020 and living in IDP sites, and b) support for the repatriation process for 5,250 Burundian refugees returning to their country.

Five agencies have proposed multisectoral projects that will facilitate the return and the establishment of durable solutions in the sites of the displaced, emergency assistance to returnees on arrival in the transit sites as well as the prevention and management of cases of gender-based violence and activities related to women empowerment. Thus, Unicef ​​will be able to support 4,000 women in solidarity groups and will provide the water and sanitation response in return neighborhoods, relocation areas and in temporary IDP sites. IOM will conduct profiling of displaced people to better channel assistance according to the needs of IDPs. Support in repair and construction of houses will also be ensured, in addition to assistance in renting houses for former tenants. UNFPA will focus its support on assisting girls and women of childbearing age, especially survivors of gender-based violence, while empowering them. As for WFP will provide 3-month food rations for both internally displaced persons and returnees. Half of this assistance will be in kind and the remaining part in cash. Finally, UNHCR plans to provide multisectoral assistance to returnees as they pass through transit centers. This agency will also provide assistance with non-food items to displaced persons.

The funds are already at the disposal of the agencies and most of the activities started at the beginning of December 2020.

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