Underfunding of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2021 negatively impacting response efforts
As of 4 June 2021, only 15.3 per cent of the funds required by the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2021 have been received out of a total of US$195 million requested by humanitarian actors. The lack of funding has direct consequences on the planned assistance and impacts negatively the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations. According to the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), published in March 2021, 2.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in Burundi in 2021. Of these, 1.06 million people have acute needs related to their physical and mental wellbeing and are targeted by the HRP.
The 2020 Periodic Monitoring Report (PMR) indicates that in 2020, humanitarian partners provided life-saving assistance to 524,708 people (65.5 per cent of the HRP 2020 target). The 2020 HRP was funded at 45.2 per cent. In addition to that, funding was received outside of the plan for humanitarian programming, which contributed to the overall achievements of the response.
In the food security sector, approximately 410,750 people in need of food assistance received food and/or unconditional cash assistance and 53,030 families benefited from agricultural inputs for livelihoods rehabilitation. Despite funding shortfalls (69% of US$32.4 million required), the sector reached 95 per cent of the target population. This is due to cutting of rations, which has implications on the quality of the response. People who were supposed to receive three rounds of assistance (as planned by the HRP) ended up receiving only two. “If underfunding continues this year, 737,000 people are at risk of shifting from moderate to severe food insecurity during the current 2021A agricultural season,” humanitarian agencies warn. This could further jeopardize the resilience of the population.
With regard to education, out of the 67,000 people targeted in 2020, the sector was able to assist 39,476 school-age girls and boys between the ages of 3 and 16 (or 59 per cent of the target). As a result of natural disasters in 2020, 750 classrooms require rehabilitation or reconstruction, and only 94 classrooms were rehabilitated and equipped.
In 2021, the lack of funding could have negative impacts on vulnerable people, particularly for those affected by natural disasters such as the rising waters of Lake Tanganyika, as well as on the returnees from Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the communities hosting them. Funding shortfalls could also jeopardize the assistance given for Congolese refugees living in camps in the eastern part of the country.
According to the HRP published in March 2021, if humanitarian actors do not respond this year:
Food security for 737,000 vulnerable people, including IDPs and returnees, will be negatively affected;
The survival and living conditions of over 541,000 vulnerable people, including IDPs and returnees, will be severely affected by insufficient access to clean water and hygiene and sanitation facilities;
Over 298,000 people, including IDPs, returnees, and host communities, will not have access to services for the protection of their rights;
Over 269,000 people will be deprived of health care services, increasing the risk of the spread of diseases with epidemic potential;
Approximately 204,000 acutely malnourished girls and boys and 66,000 acutely malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding women, including returnees and IDPs, will not have access to GAM services and 260,000 children will not benefit from malnutrition screening and prevention services;
Over 177,000 people, including victims of natural disasters and returnees, will not have access to emergency shelter, safe and dignified housing, and non-food items;
Over 151,000 girls and boys could have their right to access education undermined.