Burundi

Situation Report

Highlights

  • COVID-19 Update
  • Burundi’s flood victims receive assistance from IOM amid COVID-19 Pandemic
  • IOM Burundi supports Government’s COVID-19 response efforts
  • UNFPA donation to midwives for better quality maternal care and COVID-19 prevention
UNFPA donates Personal Protective Equipment and reproductive health kits to the Burundian Association of State Midwives (ABUSAFE).  © UNFPA Burundi/2020
UNFPA donates Personal Protective Equipment and reproductive health kits to the Burundian Association of State Midwives (ABUSAFE). © UNFPA Burundi/2020

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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
328
Confirmed people with COVID-19
1
COVID-19 Related Deaths

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Burundi

Situation Report

Funding

$197.9M
Required
$47.4M
Received
24%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Jutta Hinkkanen

Head of Office

Lauriane Wolfe

Public Information Officer

Burundi

Situation Report
Background
Screening session and temperature control.  © OMS Burundi/2020/Dismas Junior
Screening session and temperature control. © OMS Burundi/2020/Dismas Junior

COVID-19 Update

First case: 31 March 2020

Total cases: 170 (as of 30 June 2020)

Total deaths: 1

Flights/Borders: All international passenger flights were suspended on 22 March. Humanitarian, diplomatic and emergency medical flights are exempt from this suspension measure. The land borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda were reopened on 15 April to allow the movement of goods. The border with Tanzania has remained open for the movement of goods and the return of Burundians.

Containment measures: Since 5 March, a self-financed 14-day quarantine is mandatory for travellers and anyone who has had contact with symptomatic people.

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Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination
Violette Nshimirimana, widow and mother of four children, whose house was destroyed in the floods.  © IOM, Triffin Ntore, May 2020
Violette Nshimirimana, widow and mother of four children, whose house was destroyed in the floods. © IOM, Triffin Ntore, May 2020.

Burundi’s flood victims receive assistance from IOM amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Over 2,100 victims of severe flooding and mudslides in Burundi are receiving help from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In mid-April, weeks of torrential rains hit Burundi, causing the banks of the Rusizi river to overflow and flood Gatumba district (Bujumbura Rural province) roughly 12km outside Bujumbura city. Thousands of homes, businesses, and crops were swept away, and over 45,000 people were affected, of whom up to 18,000 were displaced.

Four large displacement sites for victims have been put in place around Bujumbura, where thousands of people are living in temporary or makeshift accommodations. Violette Nshimirimana, a widow and mother of four is among those receiving emergency help. With the support of IOM, she’s been given emergency shelter after her home was destroyed by the floods.

“We are farmers. We couldn't save anything,” she explained. “We just took our children and left. Our houses fell on all our belongings after we escaped. We need a small plate to eat on, a small pot to cook with and small mats to sleep on with our children. We have nothing at the moment.”

IOM Burundi is also planning to provide non-food items such as blankets, kitchen supplies, mosquito nets and additional shelter to another 300 displaced families.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are also concerns that the new displacement sites could increase the risk of contracting COVID-19, due to overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. IOM, under the coordination of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other UN agencies, is reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during aid distributions, such as shelter, hygiene kits, and other types of emergency support by implementing social distancing and ensuring the appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment.

“The destruction we have seen here is unlike any other recent disaster and has left thousands of vulnerable people without homes, at a time when having a safe place to shelter is essential for slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Sam Derbali, IOM Burundi’s Emergency Coordinator.

IOM and other humanitarian organizations are asking partners to increase efforts to provide additional shelter, food, hygiene, and sanitation facilities. To date, the Humanitarian Response Plan for Burundi in 2020 is only 16 per cent funded. Most sectors, in particular shelter, health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene, are underfunded and in need of urgent support*.

“It is our collective duty to ensure that displaced people have access to hygienic living conditions and that all responses are consistent with humanitarian principles,” said Derbali.

IOM is also helping to identify those at high risk of exploitation and organize information sessions related to protection issues for victims of flooding.

IOM is being supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The supported activities are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ and ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’.

*To see a full breakdown on funding requirements please see FTS here

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Burundi

Situation Report
Feature
© IOM Burundi/2020
© IOM Burundi/2020

IOM Burundi supports Government’s COVID-19 response efforts

IOM Burundi is supporting the Government’s COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in its role as pillar lead for Points of Entry (PoEs) and Cross-border Coordination.

IOM is currently working to help strengthen public health surveillance at border areas by monitoring cross-border population flows. Trainings of health and border officials are ongoing, and IOM continues to provide health and non-health equipment and materials at PoEs. There are also plans to rehabilitate waiting areas at POEs and assess the protection needs at border PoEs. Additional activities in the pipeline include organizing risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) initiatives that target cross-border communities.

To protect migrants, travellers, and immigration officials at Burundi’s borders from the increasing transmission of COVID-19, IOM is improving transit and waiting areas to reduce contact between passengers. IOM is also continuing to deliver hygiene, communication, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to immigration services. The donated equipment will help build their capacity to manage cross-border movements and respond to challenges created by COVID-19 and other diseases.

Earlier this year, IOM collaborated with the RCCE committee and UNICEF to train staff operating hotline 109, a 24-hour emergency hotline managed by the Burundian Red Cross and supported by IOM. Anyone can call the hotline to ask questions regarding COVID-19, flag information on suspect cases, as well as give general feedback. IOM has also trained community health workers in Bujumbura, Makamba, Muyinga, Rumonge, and Rutana provinces on Psychological First Aid, adapted to COVID-19 messaging in coordination with the national Risk Communication Platform for COVID-19. Trainees have been conducting door-to-door awareness-raising visits about COVID-19 prevention measures, indirectly benefitting around 2,500 people. To reach an even wider audience, IOM is currently working with the ‘Center for Information, Education, and Communication on Population and Development’ to develop COVID-19 awareness messages on mental health, destined for radio broadcast. IOM will also work in collaboration with UNICEF to develop and disseminate RCCE materials at PoEs and for cross-border communities.

Despite these efforts, needs remain high in terms of improving health surveillance and reporting at the community level. Responding to these needs is critical, especially at a time when regional borders are re-opening and countries around the world are reporting a “second wave” of COVID-19 transmissions. IOM is urgently appealing to partners for additional support that will help to reinforce efforts to ensure that vulnerable cross-border populations can identify, isolate, and report suspect cases. A collective, well-coordinated response will support the Government of Burundi’s efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 and other cross-border communicable diseases of epidemic potential.

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Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination
UNFPA staff demonstrating the contents of the reproductive health and personal protective equipment kits offered to ABUSAFE. © UNFPA Burundi/2020
UNFPA staff demonstrating the contents of the reproductive health and personal protective equipment kits offered to ABUSAFE. © UNFPA Burundi/2020

UNFPA donation to midwives for better quality maternal care and COVID-19 prevention

On Tuesday 2 June 2020, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) donated Personal Protective Equipment and reproductive health kits to the Burundian Association of State Midwives (ABUSAFE). This donation will help to improve the quality of reproductive and neonatal health services as well as to protect against COVID-19.

According to Dr. Richmond Tiemoko, UNFPA Representative in Burundi, this year commemorates midwives: "As 2020 is a year dedicated to midwives, we felt it was appropriate to support and celebrate them because every day they are active in the maternity wards.”

For Bernadette Nkanira, President of ABUSAFE, the donation is timely: "This is a great gesture that encourages us to ensure the quality of our services. Our association organizes mentoring sessions through the National Programme for Health and Reproduction (NPHR), supported by UNFPA. They take place in health facilities where personnel are taught all the necessary precautions to ensure that each pregnancy comes to term. They are also trained on minimum emergency measures, the fight against sexual violence and COVID-19 prevention.” UNFPA staff demonstrating the contents of the reproductive health and personal protective equipment kits offered to ABUSAFE. © UNFPA Burundi/2020

Dr. Ananie Ndacayisaba, Director of the NPHR, greatly appreciated the donation and appealed to pregnant women to always do their prenatal consultations in the nearest facilities to monitor their pregnancy for a healthy delivery. He also recalled the importance of family planning for the good health of women and family development. ABUSAFE has distributed UNFPA’s donation to different health facilities, including the Prince Louis Rwagasore Clinic, and Rukaramu and Gatumba health centres in Mutimbuzi Commune of Bujumbura Mairie province. This assistance is particularly useful at a time when these health centres are experiencing above-average admissions of women affected by the devastating floods that occurred in Gatumba (in April 2020).

Although this year should have been used to put the crucial work of midwives around the world into the spotlight, it has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic which has unfortunately diverted global attention. Nevertheless, when it comes to COVID-19, midwives and other medical personnel are on the frontlines alongside pregnant women.

According to Dr. Bonith Havyarimana, Director of the Prince Louis Rwagasore Clinic, the support provided by UNFPA will help to strengthen efforts to protect staff and patients in the delivery room against COVID-19.

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