© UNICEF Burundi/2008/Andrée-Robert

Children receive psychosocial care at the UNICEF-supported Makamba Transit Centre for Repatriated Persons. Massive repatriation of people who fled the country during the civil war have strained humanitarian response efforts.


The long-drawn peace process in Burundi has gravely worsened the survival and continued well-being of children and women throughout the country. Up to 53 per cent of children suffer from some form of chronic malnutrition. Massive repatriation from the United Republic of Tanzania is putting pressure on social services in the return areas. The reintegration of returnees remains a big challenge, especially in the areas of education and water, sanitation and hygiene. While 71 per cent of the entire population has access to improved drinking-water sources, only 41 per cent has access to adequate sanitation facilities.


UNICEF is the cluster lead for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as well as education, and co-chairs consultative groups in health and nutrition. UNICEF-supported programmes are expected to reach at least 1 million children in 2009.

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment to 20 health centres for disaster victims; support 200 community therapeutic centres (7,700 cases); provide micronutrient supplementation to children aged 6–59 months (estimated at 1,080,000) and pregnant women (estimated at 94,000); and train 1,800 health staff as resource for vaccination services.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF will provide 200,000 repatriated/expelled/vulnerable persons (104,000 children) with safe water and sanitation facilities by constructing/rehabilitating water points and family/school latrines; promote hygiene in local communities; improve local capacity for response to epidemics; and ensure an efficient coordination of all WASH humanitarian partners.

Education: UNICEF will provide basic school and recreational play materials for a total of 387,000 crisis-affected children and 2,000 teachers; train primary schoolteachers and administrators; and construct 30 temporary classrooms and 60 permanent classrooms.

Child Protection: UNICEF will support the reunification of 300 separated children; ensure psychosocial care to 5,520 vulnerable children in emergencies; and provide global assistance to 100 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in emergency situations. 

HIV/AIDS: UNICEF will provide rapid HIV testing to 2,000 refugees and repatriates (approximately 10 per cent of population in camps) and ensure quality voluntary counselling and testing services; train peer educators; and provide information, education and communication (IEC) materials and equipment for the sensitization on HIV/AIDS.

Emergency Preparedness and Response: UNICEF will support the reinforcement of local capacities in emergency preparedness and response and maintain a contingency stock for 20,000 people, including internally displaced persons and/or victims of natural disasters, as and when they occur.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2009*
Sector US$
Health and Nutrition 800,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 3,644,800
Education 2,990,000
Child Protection 715,000
HIV/AIDS 450,000
Emergency Preparedness and Response 335,000
Total** 8,934,800

* Funds received against this appeal will be used to respond to both the immediate and medium-term needs of children and women as outlined above. If UNICEF should receive funds in excess of the medium-term funding requirements for this emergency, UNICEF will use those funds to support other, underfunded emergencies.
** The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.