UNICEF, UNHCR and partners are working closely on the return and reintegration of Refugees from Tanzania in Burundi. To date, 1,666 people have returned through the formal repatriation process. An estimated 20,000 people, half children, are expected to return in the next six months
Malaria remains a significant concern, with recorded cases in 2017 now approaching 6 million. UNICEF is contributing to the community mobilization and behavior change efforts to contain the numbers of new cases.
UNICEF is facing a significant funding gap to respond to the population coming from Tanzania and Sud Kivu DRC, as well as to the internal displaced populations, which have settled in communities that are already stretched to the limit.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
The sociopolitical situation in Burundi remains tense and continues to population movements and humanitarian needs. A total of 409,406 refugees, the majority of whom children (54.6 per cent) have found refuge in neighboring countries (mainly in Tanzania, DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda). The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) registered in eighteen provinces have also decreased to 191, 806 (IOM, August 2017), of which 58 per cent are children.
Following the President of Burundi’s call for return in Tanzania and a tripartite high level dialogue (Tanzania, Burundi and UNHCR) in Dar Es Salaam on 30 August 2017, a resolution was officially signed to allow the refugees to voluntarily return to Burundi on the basis of safety and dignity principles. It is estimated that a total of 20,000 people will go back to Burundi in the next 6 months. 13,000 have already registered for these voluntary returns that will take place in 2 phases from 7 September to 31 December 2017. To date, 1,666 people (including 1,023 children) have returned through the UNHCR led repatriation process. An additional unconfirmed number have also spontaneously returned.
Cholera continues to be of concern in Burundi. There are multiple small outbreaks which are, up to now, contained but are the consequence of an increasing shortage of water supply since the beginning of the crisis and the budget reduction in this sector. Since January 2017, there has been 217 cases, among whom 119 are children and 0 death, in five health districts (Cibitoke: 173 cases, Isare: 4 cases, Bujumbura Nord: 4 case, Nyanza Lac: 27 cases, Mpanda: 9 cases).
The number of malaria cases is slowly decreasing. According to the Ministry of Health (MoH) data, the cumulative number of malaria cases reported during the first 37 weeks of 2017 has reached 5,859,151 with 2,617 deaths (MoH, 20 September 2017) which is slightly higher compared to the same period in 2016 (5,433,910 cases and 2,660 deaths).