Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
Burundians across the country, especially women and children, remain vulnerable to humanitarian crisis due to high levels of poverty. This precarious situation is compounded by natural disasters (i.e., floods, landslides and rainfall deficits), population movements, epidemics (e.g., cholera and peaks of malaria) and the risk that Ebola will spread into the country.
Some 1.74 million people, including 976,200 children, are affected by the humanitarian crisis and the economic downturn, and will require humanitarian assistance in 2020. This includes some 60,000 children at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
With the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi is a priority 1 country for Ebola preparedness. While important progress has been made in 2019, critical gaps remain in ensuring Ebola prevention and adequate capacities to respond. Given that the two cholera epidemics of 2019 remain difficult to contain and malaria cases continue to spike, the health situation is worrying. In addition, 110,000 people are displaced inside the country, primarily due to natural disasters.
The ongoing voluntary repatriation process within the tripartite agreement facilitated the return of 15,000 Burundians (57 per cent children) in 2019. The presidential elections scheduled for 2020 are expected to influence these dynamics.
Key planned results for 2020
1,700,000 people reached with key lifesaving/ behaviour change messages on Ebola prevention and control
45,000 children aged 6 to 59 months affected by SAM admitted for treatment
100,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
Funding requirements for 2020
In 2020, UNICEF will reinforce the resilience of systems and communities by increasing disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness interventions and expanding multi-sectoral and integrated responses to reduce and mitigate the risks of and needs associated with population movement, health epidemics, natural disasters and malnutrition.
In line with the national contingency plan, UNICEF will also target those in priority districts who are most vulnerable to the spillover of the Ebola outbreak with prevention and preparedness activities emphasizing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), risk communication and community engagement, as per UNICEF's comparative advantage in Burundi.
UNICEF will provide a package of gender-sensitive interventions comprising lifesaving health services; malnutrition prevention and treatment; access to safe water and sanitation; hygiene promotion; and critical and risk-informed education and protection services. Efforts to meet the needs of people with disabilities in humanitarian response are currently limited but will be expanded in 2020. Communication for development will be mainstreamed across all sectors of intervention and mechanisms for engaging communities in social cohesion, risk reduction and improved access to basic services will be strengthened.
As part of its coordination responsibilities, UNICEF will continue to lead the WASH, nutrition and education sectors and the child protection sub-group.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Burundi; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.