EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA Burundi
© UNICEF Burundi/2009/Amani
A child formerly associated with a rebel group is reunited with his mother in Bujumbura Rural Province. Increased political unrest is putting more children at risk of violence, including forced recruitment into armed groups.
Children and women in crisis
In late 2010, Burundi found itself in a tenuous transitional phase, bracketed by a recent past of political and social unrest and a near future threatening renewed violence and tension, already manifest by an increase in such criminal incidents as armed robberies, assassinations, grenade attacks and rapes recorded in the country.1 At stake is the well-being of children and women who must cope with expatriation and displacement and the risks of violence, underage recruitment into armed combat, loss of education access, undernutrition and recurrent epidemic illness that such upheaval engenders. The prospect of diminished rainfall in 2011 resulting from the La Niña phenomenon further dims the outlook for the people of Burundi.
Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011
In 2011, UNICEF will continue its work leading the education, nutrition, and water and sanitation clusters in Burundi, as well as the child protection sub-cluster. The organization will work with the Government of Burundi, other UN agencies and NGOs as well as host communities in addressing the needs of more than 175,000 people, including 15,000 women, 80,000 girls and 80,000 boys.
- The range and efficacy of nutritional relief and support will be expanded to reach 23,000 children with severe acute malnutrition. Community-based screening and referral systems for such treatment will be strengthened in 13 priority provinces.
- More than 1.4 million children under 1 year old will receive deworming tablets and vitamin A supplements; 409,000 pregnant women will be given deworming tablets and tetanus toxoid vaccines. Households will receive 250,000 mosquito nets, and 30,000 people will receive kits of essential drugs and equipment to improve feeding and health-care practices.
- WASH education needs will be met at greater levels. UNICEF will construct 10 safe water networks in ‘peace villages’ (established to promote reconciliation among different ethnic groups) and surrounding communities, primary schools and health-care centres.
- Educational support will focus on raising crisis-preparedness levels for students in all 17 provinces.
- The focus in child protection will be improving conditions for 5,000 children affected by recruitment into armed conflict, and some 90 per cent of the population in emergency situations will be reached and provided with information on HIV prevention, care and treatment.
Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010
In 2010 UNICEF estimated that US$6,546,599 was needed to fund its human-itarian work in Burundi. As of October 2010, a total of US$2,053,689 had been received, 31 per cent of the revised request. Despite the funding shortfall, UNICEF was able to achieve important results for women and children. More than half a million children aged 9 months to 14 years received measles vaccine; more than 10,000 children with severe acute malnutrition and 21,000 with moderate acute malnutrition were cured. Thirty-one sanitation facilities were constructed at 10 primary schools. Some 786,000 students were able to maintain some continuity in their education through essential learning kits. Over 600 children formerly associated with armed forces and groups began the process of reintegration into communities.
Funding requirements for 2011
UNICEF is requesting US$5,223,000 to carry out its planned activities in Burundi. Full funding will mean a greater positive impact on the lives of children and women who have already endured substantial hardship.
More information on achievements of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Burundi in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011.
1 UNICEF Burundi Monthly Situation Report, 1 November 2010, p. 1.
UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $5,223,000