Resident Coordinator a.i, Mr. Niels Scott already in the field
The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator ad interim (RC a.i.) for Burundi, Mr. Niels Scott, took up his duties in the country in October 2020.
On 9 October, after meetings and exchanges with various people and authorities in the country to inquire about the humanitarian situation, Mr. Scott participated in the ceremonies marking the celebration of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction in Mugina, in the province of Cibitoke. To mark the occasion, UNDP provided materials worth US$600,000 to rebuild houses for at least 250 families affected by landslides on Nyempundu Hill in Cibitoke. The RC a.i. also chaired the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Analysis Workshop on 27 and 28 October to thank all the collaborative efforts of the humanitarian community and the Government.
Burundi is one of the countries most sensitive to climate change and recurring natural disasters. By the end of 2019, rising temperatures in the Indian Ocean contributed to an increase in the number and magnitude of natural disasters in the country. Between October 2019 and October 2020, floods, landslides, and other disasters affected 13 of Burundi's 18 provinces. They caused significant damage to agricultural production, shelter, and infrastructure (roads, schools, and bridges), and floods displaced thousands of people in the interior of the country. Natural disasters account for 83 per cent of internal displacement in Burundi. The effects of climatic hazards continue to affect agricultural production in a context where 90 per cent of the population depends on subsistence farming.
The RC a.i. intends to continue to support the Government in its efforts to strengthen its disaster risk reduction capacity and to better prepare to respond to climate-related risks.