Humanitarian Action for Children 2018 - Burundi
The political crisis that began in Burundi in April 2015 continues to affect the lives of millions of people. An estimated 200,000 people are internally displaced and more than 400,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, primarily the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.5 The security situation remains volatile, with recurrent attacks nationwide disproportionately affecting women and children, who are at greater risk of violence and exploitation. In addition to the political and protection crises, the decline in overseas development assistance and the worsening economic conditions have led to the further deterioration of socio-economic well-being and decreasing access to essential social services for women and children. Recent inter-agency assessments6 indicate that 3.5 million people, including 2 million children, remain affected by the ongoing crisis and the associated economic downturn and will require humanitarian assistance in 2018. Severe food insecurity continues to impact 2.6 million Burundians, with an estimated 62,500 children under 5 requiring treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM).7 Burundi also remains at high risk of epidemics, with 7 million reported malaria cases in 2017, multiple cholera outbreaks on the Lake Tanganyika shoreline, and more than 2 million people with little or no access to water.8
In line with the 2018 inter-agency humanitarian strategy, UNICEF will continue to respond to the humanitarian needs of women and children in Burundi, and strive to maintain the fragile development gains made prior to the 2015 crisis. UNICEF will support the Government of Burundi to restore and/or strengthen public service delivery nationwide and address the needs of returnees and internally displaced persons in areas of return and displacement, as well as host communities affected by the ongoing political, economic and protection crises. UNICEF will provide a package of interventions for up to 1 million children, including access to lifesaving health and nutrition prevention and treatment, access to safe water, promotion of key hygiene practices, and the provision of risk-informed child protection and education services. UNICEF will continue to strengthen its mechanisms for engaging communities, including by facilitating dialogue and mobilizing local people to foster peacebuilding and social cohesion, and building the resilience of systems and communities by increasing emergency preparedness and multi-sectoral response. As part of its social policy work, UNICEF will closely monitor resource allocation to the social sectors and continue to advocate for access to essential social services for child survival and the protection of children and women.
Results from 2017
As of 30 October 2017, UNICEF had US$12.5 million available against the US$18.5 million appeal (67 per cent funded).9 In 2017, UNICEF provided an integrated package of interventions in the most-affected provinces, including areas of displacement and return. When needed, development funding was reallocated to ensure the implementation of key humanitarian response activities, particularly in the areas of education and protection. In total, UNICEF reached 21,500 children and adolescents with critical child protection services and provided essential therapeutic feeding treatment to 43,500 children with SAM. UNICEF strategically resupplied government stocks of essential malaria drugs to ensure that 1,075,000 people, including 825,000 children, received adequate and timely life-saving treatment for malaria and cholera. The UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) response addressed current vulnerabilities, while also building resilience, particularly in cholera- and malnutrition-prone areas.10 Some 49,000 affected people accessed safe and clean water with UNICEF support and some 172,000 people received hygiene supplies and life-saving information in areas affected by malaria and cholera. With available funding, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education provided 68,500 school-aged children, including internally displaced and returnee children, with access to formal and non-formal learning opportunities.
In line with Burundi's US$96,000,000 inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$26,000,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Burundi in 2018. Without adequate funding, UNICEF will be unable to scale up its humanitarian response to address the increasing needs of women and children in the context of heightened vulnerability, epidemics, food insecurity, child malnutrition, recurrent floods and displacement.