265,000 refugees have crossed borders into neighbouring countries
1,000 new arrivals weekly into neighbouring countries USD 57 million needed for 6 months to support operations that are responding to the Burundi crisis.
Food stocks are stretched and WFP requires USD 57 million for the next six months to meet the needs of new arrivals and existing refugees, particularly in Rwanda and Uganda.
Peace talks aimed at resolving Burundi’s political crisis were held on 21 to 24 May in Arusha, Tanzania under the leadership of the East African Community (EAC) cofacilitator of the process, former Tanzanian President Mkapa. Senior government officials, representatives of civil societies and representatives of some opposition parties attended the talks. However, several leading opposition groups were absent. In his closing remarks, Mr. Mkapa said he will continue consultations with the groups that did not participate in the talks over the coming weeks.
Amid these attempts by the international community and regional bodies to find a political solution to the crisis, Burundians continue to flee into neighbouring countries. As of 30 May, more than 265,000 Burundians had fled the country into the DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and as far away as Zambia.
The Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) conducted in April 2016 in 18 provinces across the country concluded that about 4.6 million people are food insecure.
Of these, about 590,000 are severely food insecure and require urgent emergency food assistance.
The assessment further indicates that the socio-political crisis has aggravated an already fragile food security, nutrition, and socio-economic context in Burundi, and identified the following as drivers of food insecurity:
(i) increasing poverty levels mainly because of loss of jobs, reduced income opportunities and reduced purchasing power due to depreciation of the Burundian Franc;
(ii) reduced agricultural production, which is linked to limited availability and the high cost of agricultural inputs and reduction of cultivated land, which increased due to the socio-political unrest and related violence;
(iii) El Nino phenomena associated with heavy rainfall, flooding and landslides, which resulted in displacements and destruction of crops;
(iv) adoption of severe livelihood coping strategies such as reduction of expenditure on agricultural inputs, begging, selling of farm land; and (v) disruption of markets.
The assessment recommends provision of short-term food assistance and farm inputs for shorter season crops. In addition, the assessment recommended strengthening of resilience activities for vulnerable food insecure households and strengthening or expanding social protection programmes for the most vulnerable, to enable them to cope with shocks.