Burundi + 4 more

UNICEF Burundi Humanitarian Situation Report, January-December 2018

Situation Report
Originally published



  • In 2018, a total of 84,771 children (51,188 boys; 33,583 girls) accessed critical protection services, including temporary emergency shelter, psychosocial support, release from detention, family tracing and reunification, medical support, as well as access to education and reintegration opportunities.
  • Since the beginning of the year, 47,659 new cases of children with severe acute malnutrition were admitted and treated in 418 health facilities supported by UNICEF.
  • A total of 990,598 people, more than half children, were reached with key life-saving messages on Ebola
  • UNICEF mobilized 40 per cent of 2018 Humanitarian Action for Children funding and responded to the most essential needs of children and women in Burundi.

Situation in numbers

  • 1.9 million Number of children in need (HNO 2018)
  • 3.6 million Number of people in need (HNO 2018)
  • 348,277 Population seeking refuge in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, December 2018)
  • 55,000 People repatriated from Tanzania (UNHCR, December 2018)
  • 139,634 Internally displaced people in 18 provinces (IOM, December 2018)

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The socio-political situation in Burundi remains precarious and continues to fuel the movement of populations, while increasing humanitarian needs. A total of 348,277 refugees, half of whom are children, have found refuge in neighbouring countries, mainly in Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda. An estimated 55,000 people (57 per cent children) have also returned to Burundi, through the ongoing voluntary repatriation process, led by UNHCR within the tripartite agreement with the Governments of Burundi and Tanzania (UNHCR, December 2018).

The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) registered in 18 provinces continues to decrease and by December 2018 there were 139,634 people; of which 60 per cent were children (IOM, December 2018). This reduction is partly attributed to the reduction in flooding incidents and the increase in resettlements.

In response to increased risks of cross-border transmission from the ongoing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in neighboring DRC, the Government, with key health partners including UNICEF, developed an Ebola Contingency Plan for six months focusing on three scenarios respectively costing US$ 1.3 and 7.5 million to provide additional support for preparedness and response to a possible outbreak. Implementation of the plan is ongoing with focus on communication, health, protection, education and WASH interventions. Point of entry screening for EVD for all travelers entering Burundi is in place in 21 priority health districts at the borders with DRC, Rwanda and Tanzania. A total of 49, 813 197 people have been screened with no positive cases detected. Only One alert was investigated by World Health Organization (WHO), which turned out to be negative. UNICEF provides technical support as a member of the National Ebola Task Force, led by the MoH, and as co-lead of the sub-committee for Communication and Community Engagement (CCE), which meets weekly to discuss and coordinate interventions.

Cases of malaria are on the decrease, see graphs below. According to epidemiological data from MoH, the cumulative number of malaria cases reported during 2018 (4,688,608 cases with 1,011 deaths), is 38 per cent lower than the number of cases reported in 2017 (7,576,589 cases and 3,277 deaths). Despite this encouraging trend, the fight against malaria remains a priority.

While the number of malaria cases and deaths decreased compared to 2017, the situation remains worrying with most of health districts in a fragile state at the end of year due to the rainy and lean season. At week 52 of 2018, six health districts had exceeded the malaria epidemic threshold: Busoni, Buja South Zone, Gihofi, Kabezi, Kinyinya and Muyinga and 17 health districts were above the alert threshold Bubanza, Bugarama, Bururi, Butezi , Buye, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gashoho, Isale, Mabayi, Matana, Mpanda, Mukenke, Murore, Rutana, Ruyigi and Vumbi. UNICEF continues to support the MoH in closely monitoring the situation of malaria and other epidemic prone diseases.