Burundi

Burundi: Humanitarian Bi-Weekly Report - Situation Report No. 04

Attachments

This report was issued by Burundi office. It covers the period from 27 April to 10 May 2009. The next report will be issued on or around 28 May 2009.

HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES

- Doctors of public hospitals on strike

- Rapid analysis on the impact of heavy rains on food security

- Training on new system of Monitoring and Evaluation of projects

- Violations involving demobilizing child soldiers at the Gitega Demobilization Centre; growing reports of political intolerance; assaults on the right to life allegedly involving members of the PNB

- Reintegration: Coordination between actors working on land issues

- Congolese Refugees: Preparations for new refugee camp

- Protection and community reintegration of returnees

I. Situation Overview

Though the local media continues to report abuses allegedly perpetrated by former FNL fighters, security reports show that insecurity and criminality has decreased as compared to the previous reporting period.

The ongoing disruptions on the health sectors are having a significant impact on the provision of health services in urban areas. These disruptions seem to have a lesser impact on rural areas.

II. Humanitarian Needs and Response

Health

Health workers unions (SIMEBU, SYMEGEB, SYNAPA and SNTS) are negotiating a special professional status and salary increase, for both medical and non medical personnel in the public health sector since 2004.

Two months ago, Burundi Doctors have embarked on a nationwide strike after the Government failed to meet their salary demands. The health workers have also threatened to stop providing the emergency services in public health hospitals. This move was criticised by the committee in charge of mediation between the Government and the Unions.

Doctors, who are currently earning an average salary of US$ 100 per month, want their wages raised to up to 600US$ per month. The request was rejected by the Government which is offering 420,000 FBu (approx. $350).

According to Gruppo Voluntariato Civile (GVC), the strike does not affect the health centres of Bujumbura rural which GVC is supporting because they are managed by the nurses who unlike doctors are still reporting to duty. The strike has limited impact on humanitarian activities. However, Médecins sans Frontières-Belgique (MSF/B) is now running a night shift for obstetrical emergencies within the provinces where they are present. GVC and MSF have an agreement which allows GVC to transfer patient to MSF hospitals.

Food Security

Heavy rains and hail storms are still reported in Karuzi and Bubanza. WFP carried out a rapid assessment on May 8th, 2009 in the Bugenyuzi commune of the Karuzi Province, to evaluate the impact these events had on food security.

Rusasa, in Bugenyuzi, is the most affected by torrential rains and hail storms. 428 households have lost their farms and livelihood as a result of the weather conditions. Cassava and beans crops were destroyed. For the time being the population relies on sweet potatoes. In Kirundo and Cankuzo, farmers who have planted early (on average 10%), now have access beans.

Repatriation

Reintegration: Coordination between actors working on land issues

During the reporting period, UNHCR, NRC and Global Rights organized a workshop for all actors (international and national) working in mediation of land conflicts. The workshop focused on technical issues such as how to monitor and evaluate conflict resolution programmes and how to manage databases. It was agreed to work towards common definitions for land issues and to improve referral mechanisms, particularly by strengthening links between the Government and non-governmental organisations. A national working group was set up with strong support from the Government of Burundi as well as national and international NGOs.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.