Burundi Briefing Kit and Directory 2003
HUMANITARIAN PROFILE OF HEALTH
|Feeding Centres||250 (225 SFC, 25 TFC)|
(UNICEF, July 2002)
|9,480 (SCF), 1,711 (TFC)|
(UNICEF, May 2003)
|Food Aid Beneficiaries||500,000 monthly average
(WFP, October 2003)
|Poverty Incidence||70% (40% in 1994)|
|Under-5 Mortality Rate||190/1,000 live births||Life Expectancy at Birth||40.4 years (UNDP 2003)|
|Total Fertility Rate||6.16 children / woman||Maternal Mortality Rate||800-300/100,000 live births|
|HIV Infection Rates|
9.4% / 10,5% / 2.5%
|BCG 113% DTC 95%|
Polio 89 % Measles 67%
HUMANITARIAN PROFILE OF EDUCATION
|Illiteracy rate||49,2.0% (UNDP-DHD 2003)|
|School Net Registration Rate||51% (2002-2003) (UNICEF 2003)|
HUMANITARIAN PROFILE OF REFUGEES AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE (IDPS)
|Burundian Refugees||789,000 (319,000 assisted refugees, 1,170 Burundians living in the government and settlement and 300,000 settled in Tanzania) August 2003|
|IDPs in Sites||281,628 in 230 sites||Refugees Inside Burundi||39,901 (June 2003)|
The OCHA Burundi Office was established in 1995 reflecting the UN desire to approach the Great Lakes Region from both a national and regional perspective. OCHA provides primary support to the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, and facilitates the coordination among various actors involved in humanitarian response in Burundi. The Office maintains regular contact with the Ministry for Reinsertion, Reinstallation of Displaced and Returnees, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, foreign aid missions, UN agencies, 53 international NGOs.
OCHA Burundi has primary carriage for the coordination of emergency relief activities for the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Burundi. The office is also mandated with a wide range of important information dissemination and humanitarian security responsibilities. In response to the insecure operational environment, measures have been set in train to enhance UN communication facilities, security arrangements and prepare inter-agency contingency plans according to scenarios including potential mass movements, internally and in neighboring countries.
OCHA promotes good practice and provides policy guidance on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, facilitating information sharing among all partners. Facilitation of the IDP coordination mechanisms is central to OCHA's operation in Burundi.
Key OCHA Coordination Meetings
Geographical and thematic coordination issues are dealt with directly through a weekly Contact Group Meeting coordinated by OCHA Burundi. International NGOs, United Nations agencies and other humanitarian actors form the core of this information sharing, issue raising and coordination forum. Meetings are held at the OCHA Office, Bujumbura, 3rd Floor, every Wednesday morning at 9:00am.
Permanent Framework (CPCPPD)
An innovative Permanent Framework for the dialogue on Displaced Persons was established in February 2001. The joint initiative is a product of the Government of Burundi and the Humanitarian Community, represented by the former United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Burundi, Mr Georg Charpentier. The humanitarian community is able to access, and work with the Permanent Framework, which meets at the ministerial level and is chaired by Human Rights Minister and Humanitarian Coordinator.
Follow-up Technical Framework (GTS)
The Follow-up Technical Group (GTS) was established simultaneously. GTS meetings are conducted at the technical level, co-chaired by the Burundi Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Follow-up Technical Group is able to ensure that decisions taken at the Framework level are actioned. Ministerial participation at the Technical Group level is commonplace. Both structures provide an important venue for information exchange, and expertise. The GTS meets weekly every Monday afternoon at 3:00pm.
OCHA REGIONAL OFFICE
The OCHA Regional Support Office for Central and East Africa (RSO-CEA), based in Nairobi, covers the following countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Its scope of activities encompasses both natural disasters and complex emergencies. The objective of the RSO-CEA is to improve the overall humanitarian response in the region.
The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) was established in 1992, and renamed as part of the United Nations Secretary-General's reform programme in January 1998. More importantly, its effectiveness was enhanced by a sharper focus, more active inter-agency cooperation, and better support of field coordination. Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Jan Egeland to succeed Kenzo Oshima of Japan as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Humanitarian Relief Coordinator on 6 June 2003.
Mr. Egeland, who has 25 years of experience in humanitarian, human rights and peace work, was previously Mr.Annan's Special Adviser on Colombia from 1999 to 2002.
Burundi Background - a silent emergency
Burundi symbolises "the silent emergency" in which so many Africans live and die.
The facts speak for themselves:
- Almost one in six Burundians continue
to live away from their homes.
- 281,628 people are living in 230 camps
inside their own country, constituting the largest internally displaced
population in the Great Lakes region.
- There are an estimated 789,000 Burundian
refugees in neighboring countries, plus a further 200,000 people who have
been living in Tanzania since 1972.
- Every month, approximately 400,000 people
in Burundi receive food aid.
- Monthly, over 24,000 people are treated
for malnutrition in 250 therapeutic and supplementary feeding centres around
the country. Their number would probably be much higher if all the needy
had access to centres. More than 71% of the people living in camps inside
Burundi have no access to the minimum daily requirement of drinking water.
- The Human Development Index for Burundi
in 2001 has dropped to the third worst ranking country in the world (171/173),
reflecting the accumulated impact of deteriorating indicators such as vaccination
coverage (down from 83% in 1993 to 54% in 2001), primary school attendance
(down from 70% in 1993% to 48% in 2002) and an under-five mortality rate
of 190 deaths per thousand live births.
The hostilities have claimed the lives of an estimated 300,000 people, primarily civilians, since 1993.
Recently, the GoB and main rebel group - CNDD-FDD - signed a cesefire in Dar Es Salaam 16 November, which opened up for the former rebels to join in the transitional institutions.
Ten years into the crisis, under-funded relief agencies struggle to keep the displaced and dispossessed alive, while other organisations call for a more fundamental look at the underlying causes of conflict. As in most complex emergencies, however, quick fixes are more visible, less political and more easily funded. In Burundi this trend has led to a neglect of the structural problems that have fuelled the violence of the last three decades, creating an environment in which peace seems continuously, and hopelessly, beyond reach.
Burundi is not the result of colonial negotiation but an historic nation-state that has evolved over many centuries to its present form. Burundi's borders are shaped by natural features, including several rivers and the vastness of Lake Tanganyika to the west.
Most people who read the newspapers probably have a vague notion that Burundi's problem is the same as Rwanda's, an ethnic conflict fuelled by the ancient tribal hatred between two peoples. Readers may also have an idea that one of these tribes is much smaller than the other but has nonetheless ruled almost continuously for hundreds of years. This is, unfortunately, a facile reading of Burundian history.
After centuries of functioning as a feudal kingdom, Burundi was colonised first by Germany in 1899 and then ruled by Belgium under a League of Nations mandate, from 1916 to 1962, when Burundi gained its independence. Failing to appreciate the delicate traditional balance that existed among various groups of Burundians, those in power proceeded to distort it, favoring some groups over others. Partially as a result, the decades following independence were characterised by frequent changes in power among elites within one group as well as recurrent violent uprisings, most dramatically in 1965, 1969, 1972, 1988 and 1993. The violence in 1972 was particularly savage, killing an estimated 250,000 people. Up to 150,000 Burundians fled the country in terror, seeking refuge in neighboring Tanzania, where the vast majority remain to this day.
From 1962 to 1993, Burundi passed through three republics, each one ended through non-constitutional means. In 1976, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza seized power from Michel Micombero (President of the first Republic); in 1987, Major Pierre Buyoya deposed Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (President of the second Republic). Major Buyoya, President of the third Republic, initiated a political reform process, which in March 1992, led to the adoption of a new constitution and introduction of a multiparty system with a directly elected president and national assembly.
In June 1993, the first democratic presidential election since independence was held, with Melchior Ndadaye emerging as winner. Major Buyoya handed over power peacefully. Both because he was elected and because he was Hutu, the inauguration of President Ndadaye marked an important milestone in Burundian history. It gave rise to hope for longterm stability and broader political participation, as Burundi was hailed internationally as a symbol of peaceful democratic transition in Africa.
This fledgling hope was, however, abruptly shattered when President Ndadaye was assassinated on October 21, 1993, only four months after gaining power. The assassination unleashed yet again years of accumulated fear, resentment and rage. Massacres carried out in retribution for the killing of the President led to reprisals undertaken by the army to regain control of the countryside. Tens of thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others fled their homes and country, mainly into Tanzania and former Zaire. Those lucky enough to escape with their lives lost nearly everything else, including their homes, their land, their livestock and their future.
After the assassination, Burundi was ruled by a succession of weak and divided administrations and unrest continued. In March 1996, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights went as far as to refer to the ongoing civil war embroiling Burundi as a "genocide by attrition". Just four months later, Major Buyoya returned to power through a bloodless putsch, which was widely condemned by neighboring countries. They responded by imposing economic sanctions, which remained until January 1999.
Under the leadership of the former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, and after two-and-a-half years of negotiations in Arusha, nineteen Burundian political parties signed a peace agreement on 28 August 2000, in the presence of United States President, Bill Clinton, and many regional Heads of State. Signed under intense pressure from the Facilitator, former South African President, Nelson Mandela, and from regional leaders, the agreement did not include a ceasefire agreement, although it did establish three protocols (I, II, IV) which establish a clear programme, including the creation of a transitional government, national assembly and senate, tasked with advancing the cause of reconciliation, democracy and reconstruction.
Political instability and widespread insecurity since the outbreak of the crisis in 1993 have caused a prolonged disruption in the social and economic development of Burundi.
Whereas the country could boast progress both in social and economic terms up to 1992, since 1993 many of its social and economic gains have regressed to the level of at least some 30 years ago. Life expectancy averaged 44 years in 1970, reached a peak of 53.8 in 1992 and relapsed to an average of 40.6 in 2000. The future of the country looks bleak when taking into consideration the under-five mortality rate of 190/1000 births, an immunization coverage rate of 48%, illiteracy rate of 52% with school attendance at 52%. Over 525,000 people are internally displaced with over 800,000 living as refugees in the region. The majority of the remaining population of some 6.8 million suffer from insufficient access to food, basic social services and limited economic opportunities. The proportion of the population living under the poverty threshold is 58.2% in the rural areas and 66.8% in the urban zones. Ever since the outbreak of the crisis, the country has been racked with violence and serious human rights violations. These violations resulted in the imprisonment of over 8,000 people (including 160 children), 90% of which are still awaiting trial.
THE GREAT LAKES REGION CONFLICTS
In recent years, conflict in the Great
Lakes has been truly regional in scope, character and consequence. Neighbouring
states have either been actively involved in the long-running wars - and
particularly that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - or directly
affected as populations move across borders to flee fighting. Armed non-state
actors have also taken advantage of the porous borders, either seeking
safe havens, protection or advantageous alliances with other states in
order to continue their rebellion or pursue other ends. A regional perspective
is, thus, essential not only in analysis of the conflict in the region,
but also in efforts to address it. Without a truly regional peace that
resolves issues fundamental to the conflict both within and between countries,
the cycle of violence will never be broken and the humanitarian needs will
continue to grow.
Even if regional peace is achieved, it will have an impact on the region and its needs. Inter alia, it would potentially involve the mass return to their homes of displaced populations, some 3,393,497 internally displaced persons and 1,214,236 refugees, their reintegration and the recreation of their livelihoods in countries shattered by years of war.
KEY FEATURES OF THE CRISIS
- Inter-state regional conflict, armed
rebellion, civil strife, and a culture of violence and impunity.
- Chronic and sudden natural disaster
in the form of drought, flooding, volcanic and seismic activity, leading
to food insecurity, property destruction, land erosion and conflict over
- Violations of human rights and disregard
of humanitarian principles. Humanitarian access to populations in need
is often curtailed.
- Massive displacement of populations,
both within and across borders - placing an ever-increasing burden on host
- Limited access to basic health care,
as well as high morbidity and mortality rates for preventable diseases
and the spread of epidemics, including cholera and meningitis.
- High levels of HIV/AIDS infection, devastating
the health of populations, and destroying economic/social capacity.
The vulnerability of populations in the region, even if not displaced, as a result of insecurity, poverty, and limited access to economic or social resources and structures. This vulnerability may be further increased as countries face the challenges of demobilization and reintegration.
- Critical food needs caused and exacerbated by insecurity, natural disaster, displacement, lack of markets, disrupted supply lines and poverty.
(pdf* format - 408 KB)
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.