Burundi is among the world’s 20 most vulnerable countries to climate change, with around 85 per cent of internal displacement caused by natural disasters. Floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains and strong winds cause severe damage to households and essential crops in a country where over 90 per cent of the population relies on subsistence farming. Natural hazards are expected to increase and further displace vulnerable populations. According to the Displacement Tracking Matrix, there are 127,775 internally displaced persons in the country as of May 2021, of which 54 per cent are women. The voluntary return of refugees has also increased in 2020 and around 142,000 are expected in 2021, thus placing additional burden on vulnerable communities in areas of return that are already scarce in available land, resources, and livelihoods.
The needs of IDPs and returnees are like those of an emergency in terms of life-saving assistance, ranging from shelter, NFI, and WASH support, to access to housing, land and property and protection - core areas of IOM Burundi's response work.