• The epidemiological situation in Burundi remains a focus in 2020 with episodes of cholera, a relatively high incidence of malaria, measles cases and the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 29th, Burundi reported 508 cases of COVID-19 (including 1 death).
• The consequences of the floods in the first half of the year continue to be felt by those displaced who have lost their home and their livelihoods.
• UNICEF and its partners are providing a multidisciplinary response to the 25,000 people in temporary displacement sites and are supporting the Ministry of Health (MOH) in responding to health emergencies.
• More than 28,500 children received treatment for severe acute malnutrition, 60,000 people had improved access to clean water, 114,000 benefited from hygiene awareness and supplies, and more than 146,000 children were provided with critical protection services.
• As of the first quarter of 2020, UNICEF has mobilized 44 per cent of the 2020 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) funding to address the most essential needs of children and women in Burundi. US$ 9 million is still needed to respond adequately to the situation of displaced persons, disaster victims, returnees and those affected and at risk of epidemics.
Situation in Numbers
976,170 children in need of humanitarian assistance
1.74 million people in need (HNO 2020)
136,610 Internally displaced people in 18 provinces (IOM DTM June 2020)
92,170 people repatriated from Tanzania
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF’s appeal for Burundi stands at US$ 16.5 million to sustain the provision of life-saving services for women and children affected by humanitarian crises, for which 44% has been mobilised as of 30 September 2020.
While much effort is now being put into responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country (which is reported separately from this sitrep), it has become critical to provide visibility to under-funded areas of humanitarian programming. Response to floods, protection and WASH needs of returnees and internally displaced persons remain priorities for UNICEF and its partners.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The year 2020 began with episodes of heavy rain and wind that were repeated throughout the first half of the year and caused considerable material and human damage. UNICEF and its partners were present from the first days to respond to the most urgent needs to approximately 100,000 people affected. However, efforts are still needed today to be able to provide the necessary services to the affected families and enable them to recover and live in dignity.
While cholera and malaria diseases persisted in the country, efforts were deployed to prevent the risk of Ebola spillover from the Democratic Republic of Congo before the epidemic was declared over. The COVID-19 pandemic hit Burundi on March 31, 2020. A mass testing campaign began in July and reported 508 cases out of 36,452 people tested and one death as of September 29th. A response plan was developed by the MoH, together with partners in March. The public health emergency operation centre was made operational in September making it possible to strengthen the coordination of response services.
Finally, since the May 2020 elections, a gradual return of Burundians, including those who had found refuge in Tanzania and Rwanda, is expected. A tripartite agreement was also signed in August between Burundi, Rwanda and UNHCR to organize the process of voluntary repatriation. Since that date, more than a thousand Burundians have already been able to return from Rwanda.