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Burundi map
UNICEF photo: a health worker holds an instrument to a woman’s head © UNICEF Burundi/2018/Grev Hunt A woman is screened for Ebola at the Gatumba entry point at the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Bujumbura Rural Province, Burundi, in November 2018.

Burundi

In 2019, UNICEF and partners plan for:
200,000

people accessing the agreed quantity of water for cooking, drinking and personal hygiene

30,000

children under 5 years with SAM admitted for treatment

150,000

children and adolescents reached with messages on peace, life skills and key family practices

2019 requirements: US$10,000,000

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Snapshot

Total people in need: 1.8 million12
Total children (<18) in need: 710,00013

Total population to be reached: 500,00014
Total children to be reached: 260,00015

Burundians across the country, particularly women and children, continue to face challenges stemming from the political events of 2015, as well as the effects of climatic pressures, natural disasters and the weak socio-economic situation. Some 1.8 million people, including 710,000 children, are affected by the humanitarian crisis and economic downturn, and will require humanitarian assistance in 2019.1 Following the tripartite agreement,2 in 2018, an estimated 53,000 people, over half of them children, returned to Burundi, and an additional 120,000 are expected to return by December 2019.3 The security situation remains fragile, however, and access to essential services is extremely limited.4 With the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi remains at high risk of epidemics and insufficiently prepared to respond.5 Some 70,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) across the country.6 The number of people in need has decreased, from 3.6 million in 20187 to 1.8 million in 2019,8 mostly due to a decline in the number of households experiencing crisis levels of food insecurity. Average to above average rainfall expected through December 2018 will likely lead to better harvests and lift all remaining locations out of the crisis food insecurity phase classification.9

Humanitarian strategy

2019 programme targets

Nutrition

  • 30,000 children under 5 years with SAM admitted for treatment

Heath16

  • 250,000 people, at least half of them children, provided with essential drugs, including malaria drugs

WASH

  • 200,000 people accessing the agreed quantity of water for cooking, drinking and personal hygiene
  • 200,000 people provided with information on key hygiene practices

Child protection

  • 100,000 children and adolescents benefiting from critical child protection services

Education

  • 100,000 children accessing formal or non-formal early learning, pre-primary and primary education
  • 1,000 teachers trained on education in emergencies and disaster risk reduction

Communication for development

  • 150,000 children and adolescents reached with messages on peace, life skills and key family practices
  • 500,000 people reached with Ebola preparedness activities

In line with the 2019 inter-agency humanitarian strategy, UNICEF will focus its humanitarian response in Burundi on meeting the needs of displaced women and children, their host communities and children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The response will strive to protect the country’s fragile development gains, including for people affected by disasters such as flooding and landslides. UNICEF will provide a package of interventions for up to 500,000 people, including: life-saving health services and nutrition prevention and treatment; access to safe water; support to adopt key hygiene practices; and critical, risk-informed child protection and education services. UNICEF will continue to strengthen mechanisms for engaging communities in peace-building and social cohesion. System and community resilience will be strengthened by increasing emergency preparedness and expanding multi-sectoral responses to various risks, especially health epidemics such as Ebola and cholera. This is in line with a key objective of UNICEF’s 2019 Humanitarian Action for Children appeal—to integrate social protection across all sectors, focusing on advocacy.

Results from 2018

As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF had US$7.6 million available against the US$26 million appeal (29 per cent funded).10 In 2018, UNICEF responded through an integrated package of interventions in the most affected provinces, including areas of displacement and return. When needed, development funding was reallocated to ensure the implementation of key activities, especially in health and education. In total, UNICEF reached some 84,000 children and adolescents with critical child protection services and provided essential therapeutic feeding treatment to 46,000 children suffering from SAM. UNICEF strategically resupplied government stocks of essential malaria drugs to ensure that some 633,000 people, including 450,000 children, received adequate and timely life-saving health care. The UNICEF WASH response continued to address current vulnerabilities and linked these efforts to longer-term resilience building, especially in cholera- and malnutrition-prone areas. Some 47,000 affected people accessed safe and clean water with UNICEF support and 176,000 people in malaria- and cholera-affected areas received hygiene supplies and key life-saving information. Despite limited funding, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education provided access to learning for some 48,000 school-aged children, including internally displaced and returnee children, through formal and non-formal education opportunities.11

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Funding requirements

In line with the country’s inter-agency 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, which requests US$106 million, UNICEF is requesting US$10 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Burundi in 2019. Without timely and adequate funding, UNICEF will be unable to scale up its humanitarian response to address the increasing needs of women and children in the current context of heightened vulnerability, epidemics, food insecurity, child malnutrition, recurrent floods and displacement.

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1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Burundi: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview’ (draft), OCHA, 2018. The Humanitarian Needs Overview document was not finalized/published at the time of writing this appeal. The appeal will be updated to be aligned with the published Humanitarian Needs Overview, once finalized.
2 In March 2018, a new tripartite agreement was signed between the Government of Burundi, the Government of Tanzania and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to continue to support the voluntary repatriation of 72,000 Burundians from Tanzania.
3 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘Regional Overview of the Burundian Refugee Population’, UNHCR, 31 October 2018.
4 Ibid.
5 World Health Organization, ‘Ebola Virus Disease - Democratic Republic of the Congo’, WHO, 27 September 2018.
6 ‘Burundi: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview’ (draft), p. 21; Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, ‘Burundi: IPC acute malnutrition analysis’, IPC, 18 September 2017; Burundi Multisector Rapid Assessment, October 2017; Burundi Nutrition Sector.
7 Including 1.9 million children.
8 Including 710,000 children.
9 Above average supply is likely to keep staple food prices below the three-year average. As a result, most households are expected to be in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification 1 (minimal) beyond January 2019. A few returnee locations will be in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification 2 (stressed). Famine Early Warning System Network, ‘Burundi: Food security improving in most provinces as rainy season begins early’, FEWS NET, September 2018.
10 Available funds include US$5.8 million received against the current appeal and US$1.8 million carried forward from the previous year.
11 Education was the least funded sector in 2018.
12 ‘Burundi: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview’ (draft).
13 Ibid.
14 The number of people in need was calculated based on the UNICEF portion of the Burundi 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (draft) outlining the the number of people that will benefit from risk communication Ebola preparedness interventions. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Burundi: 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan’ (draft), OCHA, 2018. The Humanitarian Response Plan document was not finalized/published at the time of writing this appeal. The appeal will be updated to be aligned with the published Humanitarian Response Plan, once finalized.
15 The number of children in need was calculated based on children making up 53 per cent of the number of people that will benefit from risk communication Ebola preparedness interventions.
16 The 2019 acute watery diarrhoea indicator was dropped because there were no cases reported in 2018 and the 2019 response will focus on acute watery diarrhoea preparedness work rather than response. Cholera preparedness is now included in the resilience plan. As agreed, the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan/Humanitarian Action for Children appeal will only focus on acute humanitarian needs.