• Since the beginning of January 2017, the number of malaria cases has reached over 4.2 million people (with 1,891 deaths); UNICEF contributed to the National Malaria Response Plan with the provision of malaria drugs and diagnostic kits, and community mobilisation activities for an amount of about US$ 3.6 million.
• Child Friendly Space (CFS) workers, teachers, and other actors referred 571 children (309 boys, 262 girls) to the Platform for Psychosocial and Mental Health Support (PPSM) and other partners for appropriate care; 38 children (34 girls and 4 boys) are being supported as survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
• UNICEF expresses gratitude to all donors for their contribution to the Nutrition, Child Protection and WASH emergency response.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
The sociopolitical situation in Burundi remains tense and continues to spur on migration and humanitarian needs. A total of 415,854 refugees, the majority of whom continue to be children (54.6 per cent) have found refuge in neighboring countries (mainly in Tanzania, DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda) with over 70,000 people seeking refuge in 2017. The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) registered in thirteen provinces have also increased to 209, 202 (IOM, June 2017), of which 58 per cent are children.
Since Mid-April, Burundi has been facing recurrent fuel shortages with serious consequences on the daily life of already overstretched Burundians and on the downward spiral country’s economy. This is mainly due to the shortage of foreign currency to purchase fuel on the international market.
Following the 8 million cases of malaria in 2016, and the subsequent official malaria epidemic declaration on 13 March 2017, a response plan was developed and approved by the Ministry of Health (MoH) with the support of WHO and UNICEF. The North and North-East health districts remain the most affected by this outbreak. According to the MoH, the cumulative number of malaria cases reported during the first 24 weeks of the year stands at 4,212,300 cases, with 1,891 deaths (CFR 0.047 per cent). No significant change is seen in the incidence of malaria with similar admission rates compared to the same period in 2016 (4,343,809 admission cases, 2,102 deaths).
Since December 2016, a new cholera outbreak was reported in Cibitoke Province with a total of 169 cases (no deaths), 84 males and 85 females, 26 per cent were children under five years. Since the beginning of the crisis, Burundi is becoming highly prone to cholera outbreaks due to the deterioration of WaSH services and increased lack of access to safe and potable water, especially in the provinces bordering Lake Tanganyika and cross border areas with DRC and Tanzania.
According to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook April 2017, real GDP declined by 3.96 percent in 2015 and 1.04 percent in 2016. In 2017, economic growth is expected to remain weak (0.001 percent), presumably resulting in negative effects on per capita income and poverty.
After sharp decreases in budget allocations to the Health sector in 2015 and 2016, the budget of the Ministry of Public Health increased by 64.7% from 2016 to 2017. According to the Government’s Financial Law this rise is mostly attributable to reinforced donor support. Donor funding represents the main source of funding for four major national programs, including HIV/AIDS, vaccines, reproductive health and nutrition. However, the disbursement of external aid remains unpredictable and volatile, since a sizable portion of aid is off-budget. According to the Financial Law, external support represents nearly half of allocations to the Ministry of Health in 2017, which is still below the level of support of 60.1 per cent in 2015.