Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP): Mid-Year Review of the Appeal 2006 for Burundi

Originally published

1. Executive summary
In the midst of post-conflict recovery and an improving political and security landscape despite isolated attacks by the last remaining rebel group, the key challenge for humanitarian actors has been to ensure a gradual and effective transition from humanitarian response to establishing sustainable solutions to meet the basic needs of vulnerable persons. The launch of a governmental Emergency Program in February 2006 with a focus on provision of basic services, food security, and reintegration support, has been an important landmark in this effort. However, the need for continued humanitarian assistance is highlighted by weak national structures and delivery capacity; food insecurity triggered by consecutive poor harvests in 2005 and 2006; constant population movement in the region due to insecurity and food shortages; and seasonal floods.

Key achievements in the first six months of 2006 include the response to poor harvests and high levels of food insecurity through the distribution of 45,000 MT of food aid and the provision of seeds and tools to over 450,000 households. Agencies and NGOs also provided critical support to the local and national authorities in implementing key decisions on free health care for mothers and children and free primary education: As such, Essential Care Packages (ECP) were distributed to 210 health centres in ten provinces and temporary and permanent learning spaces were provided to help absorb a record 494,448 first grade pupils. Further, agencies responded to the influx of nearly 20,000 Rwandan asylum-seekers and the return of 13,000 rejected Burundian asylum-seekers, assuring their protection and assistance in line with international conventions.

The humanitarian community is also preparing for scenarios regarding population movements including the possible influx of Congolese refugees during the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the prospect of a massive return of Burundian refugees from the United Republic of Tanzania following the shift from facilitation to promotion of voluntary repatriation.

Crucially, the Mid-year Review was for the first time conducted jointly with the Government of Burundi, which meant a significant revision of existing humanitarian coordination mechanisms to match the changed institutional setting. It is of utmost importance for the humanitarian community to support the Government’s overall capacity for coordination, planning, resource mobilisation and response. Humanitarian response still represents an important component of the global peace consolidation process by stabilising populations and mitigating their exposure to humanitarian needs such as sudden food insecurity and epidemics.

The priorities for the remainder of 2006 are:

Strengthen and support early warning and response mechanisms to populations at risk;

Support Government policies in basic services provision with an emphasis on life saving activities;

Support process of transition from relief to development with an emphasis on short-term programmes on reinsertion and community recovery in anticipation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) implementation;

Continuous monitoring and promotion of human rights and strengthening of institutional accountability of the governmental security bodies.

The Mid-Year Review of the 2006 Consolidated Appeal has a revised requirement of

US$1123,012,389. A total of $30,729,677, which represents approximately 25% of the requested funds, has been committed to date, leaving unmet requirements of $92,282,712.

2. Changes in the context and humanitarian consequences

2.1 Consolidation of the Peace

The first six months of 2006 have been marked by efforts by the authorities to produce quick impact in the areas of security, basic services provision and a general orientation towards development, notably through the Emergency and Rehabilitation Programme 2006. However, as delivery of the programme was hampered by a lack of human and financial resources and weak institutional capacities, most of its projects have not yet been initiated except for the support to primary education.

The Government called for the last remaining rebel group the Forces of National Liberation (FNL) to enter into talks in late 2005. Since then and into the first quarter of 2006, the Burundian Army (FDN) conducted a robust military strategy against the FNL particularly in Bujumbura Rural. The civilian population has been caught in the middle, with both government and rebel forces accusing them of supporting the other. This has resulted in an increase in human rights abuses ranging from arbitrary detention and various human rights violations by the FDN, the National Intelligence Service and National Police to lootings, taxes extortions and summary executions by FNL. The FDN strategy has resulted in a number of arrests of FNL and voluntary surrenders, and has reduced the capacity of the FNL forces, which retain a presence in the Kibira forest and rear bases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). On 29 May, a government delegation and FNL leaders begun talks in Dar-es-Salaam, facilitated by the South African Government. Until an agreement is reached, the civilian population of Bujumbura-Rural, Bubanza and Cibitoke will continue to suffer from insecurity and remain a major humanitarian concern.

In 2005, the Government announced free primary education and, in May 2006, the provision of free health care to pregnant women and children under the age of 5 years. These decrees have clearly set a new standard for access to basic services, albeit with weak financial and institutional capacity for its implementation. In the education sector, although an additional 59,208 pupils were able to attend school, 168,597 could not be accommodated due to the lack of schools and teachers. As for the health sector, hospitals and health centres are in great difficulty meeting the costs as their monthly budget covers only half the month. Given the immense gaps in the provision of basic services in Burundi, it is crucial to support these initiatives to combat structural vulnerability, and decrease the need over time for humanitarian assistance.

The Government of Burundi, with significant support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has also developed a national response plan to avian influenza, which is expected to come into force in July 2006.

The United Nations Mission in Burundi (UNOB) was tasked by the Security Council to begin the gradual withdrawal of its military component over the course of the year. By April the military contingents and their equipment had been reduced by 40%. All human rights provincial field offices were reduced to a monitoring capacity and as of May UNOB only operates in Bujumbura-Mairie, Bujumbura-Rural, Bubanza and Cibitoke. Key activities remain demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR); security sector reform (SSR), which includes strengthening the newly integrated police force; transitional justice and human rights. As a result of the drawdown, UNOB is no longer able to provide the same level of support to humanitarian activities such as transport, military escorts or engineering support. In May 2006 the Secretary-General (SG) sent a high-level mission to discuss with the Government, the parameters of the proposed post-UNOB United Nations (UN) presence in Burundi. This is likely to be an Integrated Office continuing activities in the aforementioned areas, but has yet to be authorised by the Security Council.

2.2 Unexpected Humanitarian Developments

The first six months of 2006 have seen a number of unexpected humanitarian developments. Firstly, the regional drought affected an already fragile situation in Burundi, where household vulnerability due to years of conflict is combined with extreme poverty. An evaluation of the 2006A harvest conducted by FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Ministry of Agriculture in January 2006 showed that the Northern part of Kirundo province, South-eastern part of Muyinga province, Cankuzo province and Moso region of Ruyigi province were the most drought-affected areas. Accordingly, a large scale response was initiated: WFP distributed about 45,000 metric tonnes (MTs) of food aid in the first six months while FAO and its partners provided agricultural assistance to over 450,000 households. Despite these actions, 68% of the Burundian population remains borderline food insecure making them highly susceptible to climatic shocks such as drought, torrential rains and crop diseases. 16% of the population remains chronically food insecure. The root causes of this chronic food insecurity include erratic macroclimatic conditions; crop diseases; the lack of agricultural inputs and functioning rural infrastructures; land shortage; and lack of farming, food processing and stocking skills. Standard coping strategies include change of diet (i.e. cutting meals), debt, displacement in order to find work, and separation of families as children are sent away to be temporarily taken care of by relatives or friends. It should be noted that, since FAO started its records in the 1993, the production during the 2006A season was at its lowest point (in terms of kcal per person). In comparison with the same season last year production dropped by 12%. Whilst households are increasingly dependent on purchase of food (45%-70% depending on the province), market prices are on the rise with the purchasing power of the population on the decrease.

Secondly, population movements posed a particular challenge to humanitarian actors. On the one hand repatriation of Burundian refugees fell well short of the projection with only 4,745 refugees returning between January and mid-June. On 20 and 21 March a decision was made by the Tripartite Commission for the Voluntary Repatriation of Burundian Refugees to shift from facilitation to promotion from 20 June2 On the other hand the influx of Rwandan asylum seekers peaked in the first two months of the year and stabilised by late March; with around 19,000 sheltered in the sites of Musasa, Songore and Rwisuri (Ngozi and Kirundo province). Various partners including the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Action Contre la Faim (ACF) as well as WFP and UNOB intervened in support of UNHCR to respond to the situation. Refugee Status Determination is still ongoing and the first small group of accepted refugees was transferred to a site in Rutana in April. In May and June significant voluntary returns to Rwanda were registered which enabled agencies to close one of the three sites (Rwisuri). Furthermore, around 13,000 Burundians left to Tanzania in November 2005 as a result of increasing food insecurity. Majority voluntarily returned to Burundi in early April following a decision by the Tripartite Commission to provide assistance. Agencies managed to provide some assistance to this population who returned largely to Ruyigi province. (See story below).


1. Executive Summary

2. Changes in the Context and Humanitarian Consequences

2.1 Consolidation of the Peace

2.2 Unexpected Humanitarian Developments

2.3 Transition Towards Development

3. Review of the Common Humanitarian Action Plan (Chap)

3.1 Common Humanitarian Action Plan

3.2 Scenarios

3.3 Strategic Priorities

3.4 Sectoral Analysis and Projections

3.4.1. Food Security, Emergency Agriculture and Nutrition

3.4.2. Access to Basic Services (Education and Health)

3.4.3. Shelter, Non-Food Items and Water and Sanitation

3.4.4. Population Movements

3.4.5. Mine Action

3.4.6. Protection and Human Rights

3.4.7. Coordination Mechanisms and Information Management

4. Funding and Projects

New and Revised Projects Table

5. Conclusion

6. New and Revised Projects

7. Requirements, Commitments, Contributions and Pledges Per Sector and Per Appealing Organisations

8. Acronyms and Abbreviations

Note: The full text of this appeal is available on-line in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format and may also be downloaded in zipped MS Word format.

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