Burundi + 2 more

Burundi: Situation Report - 11 March 2020 [EN/RN]

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Situation Report
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HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1.7 million Burundians need humanitarian assistance in 2020

  • Over 1,500 Burundians voluntarily repatriated since February 2020

  • David Carden, OCHA Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, completes a three-day mission to Burundi

  • An additional US$10 million needed to implement the 2020 Ebola operational plan

BACKGROUND

1.7 million Burundians need humanitarian assistance in 2020

On Friday 6 February, OCHA Burundi published this year’s Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO)– a comprehensive analysis of the overall humanitarian situation and associated needs for 2020. This report is a result of months of work by humanitarian partners in Burundi.

The analysis of needs for 2020 shows a humanitarian situation comparable to 2019, with the number of people in humanitarian need decreasing slightly from 1.77 million in 2019 to 1.74 million in 2020. Of those in need in 2020, around 53 per cent are women, 58 per cent children, and 15 per cent people living with disabilities. To respond to these needs, the humanitarian community will target 630,000 of the most vulnerable people.

This figure includes three priority population groups: internally displaced persons, returnees and other categories of population affected by emergencies. Sub-groups of populations have also been taken into account because of their vulnerability, including host communities, people living with disabilities, single-parent households and separated and/or unaccompanied children. As last year, the majority of people in need reside in the Northern and Eastern provinces of the country.

As outlined in the HNO 2020, Burundi is among the countries most susceptible to climate change and recurrent natural disasters continue to regularly impact the humanitarian situation; they are responsible for over three quarters (79 per cent) of internal displacement (there are currently some 112,522 IDPs* in Burundi) and often cause localized emergencies. A total of 1,586 natural disasters, mostly torrential rains, floods and high winds, were recorded between October 2018 and December 2019, with impacts including displacement, total or partial destruction of crops, homes, classrooms, water networks and health centres.

In 2020, humanitarian partners estimate that a total of US$114 million will be required to respond to the needs of the 630,000-target population.

*As of January 2020

COORDINATION

Over 1,500 Burundians voluntarily repatriated since February 2020

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Governments of Tanzania and Burundi have resumed voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees on Thursday 6 February 2020. At least 1,500 Burundians have been voluntarily repatriated since then. The goal of repatriating 2,000 refugees per week, as per the Tripartite agreement with UNHCR (of November 2019), has not yet been reached.

The returnees were received in Gitara (Makamba province) and Kinazi (Muyinga province) transit centers. Per a key recommendation from the last Tripartite meeting, UNHCR has increased cash transfer amounts for returnees, increasing from 70,000 to 140,000 Fbu for adults, and from 35,000 to 70,000 Fbu for children. The World Food Programme and UNHCR also provided a three-month food ration (included maize flour, beans, oil and salt) and non-food items (buckets, blankets, mats, cloths and sanitary towels).

According to UNHCR, a total of 335,642 Burundian refugees have remained in neighbouring countries, of whom over 168,000 are in Tanzania. Since the start of voluntary repatriation on 7 September 2017, UNHCR has facilitated the return of 81,221 Burundian refugees in the region (as of 10 March 2020).

FEATURE

David Carden, OCHA Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, completes a three-day mission to Burundi

From 16 to 19 February 2020, OCHA’s Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, David Carden, carried out a three-day mission to the Republic to assess the ongoing humanitarian response and discuss how to strengthen resilience-building efforts with key stakeholders including Government representatives.

On 19 February, Mr. Carden visited Gatumba district in Bujumbura Rural province, which currently hosts nearly 10,000 people displaced by torrential rains that fell on 28-29 January 2020. He also visited the relocation site of Winterekwa, in Bujumbura Mairie Province, where hundreds of internally displaced persons are being sheltered from floods and landslides due to unseasonal rains. Natural disasters account for 79 per cent of internal displacement, and the last five months have been hard-hit with unusually heavy rainfall and strong winds, causing severe flooding and landslides. He witnessed how humanitarian partners are working with extremely limited resources to provide humanitarian assistance and protection services to the most vulnerable.

During his visit, Mr. Carden met with representatives of international non-governmental organizations, the Humanitarian Country Team, donors as well as the OCHA Burundi team. He also met the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender. Mr. Carden highlighted the humanitarian community’s commitment to continue to work with the Government of Burundi in the spirit of mutual trust and respect to reduce humanitarian needs, and the importance of collaborating together to facilitate principled humanitarian action.

Government officials expressed their willingness to continue working together with the humanitarian community to meet the needs of the affected communities. Mr. Carden commended the Government for its commitment to support those in need and for its efforts in improving the resilience of vulnerable communities. He also promised that he would advocate for further humanitarian funding for Burundi, in particular for replenishing emergency stocks to allow partners to respond rapidly to different disasters.

“Humanitarian partners’ capacity to respond given the lack of emergency stocks is concerning. They need donors’ support now to ensure an adequate response capacity to address humanitarian needs in the coming months” he said.

COORDINATION

Burundi prepares itself against Novel Coronavirus disease

The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which first appeared in Wuhan Province, China, continues to pose a global public health challenge. A total of 6,065 cases have been confirmed, of which 68 cases have been detected outside of China. On 30 January 2020, the Burundian Ministry of Public Health and Fight Against AIDS, together with WHO, OCHA, UNICEF and IOM, met to discuss preparedness, and produce both a readiness checklist and risk analysis toolkit.

The work on EVD preparedness undertaken can serve as a strong basis for a possible response to 2019-nCoV. For example, a national multi-sectoral taskforce and a public health emergency operation coordinating centre can be activated within two hours. Moreover, some of the preparedness activities, such as registering people’s temperatures upon arrival at Bujumbura airport and at other key entry points, are already in place and can also be used for carriers of 2019-nCoV. In addition to this, several health facilities are already equipped with the required medical supplies, and systems of risk communication and community engagement are already in place.

In the coming weeks, humanitarian partners will gear their efforts to: - train Rapid Response Teams in handling respiratory-related cases - pre-position Personal Protection Equipment and other supplies at border points of entry - create dedicated ambulance services for suspected 2019-nCoV patients - equip isolation facilities - assess ill travelers - train health workers on 2019-nCoV case management

Since the early 2000s, there have been several examples of respiratory viruses which have posed grave threats to global public health, including SARS, H1N1 influenza, and MERS. WHO declared the outbreak of 2019-nCoV as a public health emergency of international concern last Thursday 30 January 2020.

The risk of these respiratory pathogens spreading is increased by population growth, climate change, increasing urbanization, and international travel and migration.

Stay up to date on 2019-nCoV here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

Recommendations on key preventive measures against 2019-nCoV can be found here: https://hr.un.org/page/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

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