Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Burundi 2006
In the midst of post-conflict recovery and an improving political and security landscape despite isolated attacks by the last remaining rebel group, the key challenge for humanitarian actors has been to ensure a gradual and effective transition from humanitarian response to establishing sustainable solutions to meet the basic needs of vulnerable persons. The launch of a governmental Emergency Program in February 2006 with a focus on provision of basic services, food security, and reintegration support, has been an important landmark in this effort. However, the need for continued humanitarian assistance is highlighted by weak national structures and delivery capacity; food insecurity triggered by consecutive poor harvests in 2005 and 2006; constant population movement in the region due to insecurity and food shortages; and seasonal floods.
Key achievements in the first six months of 2006 include the response to poor harvests and high levels of food insecurity through the distribution of 45,000 MT of food aid and the provision of seeds and tools to over 450,000 households. Agencies and NGOs also provided critical support to the local and national authorities in implementing key decisions on free health care for mothers and children and free primary education: As such, Essential Care Packages (ECP) were distributed to 210 health centres in ten provinces and temporary and permanent learning spaces were provided to help absorb a record 494,448 first grade pupils. Further, agencies responded to the influx of nearly 20,000 Rwandan asylum-seekers and the return of 13,000 rejected Burundian asylum-seekers, assuring their protection and assistance in line with international conventions.
The humanitarian community is also preparing for scenarios regarding population movements including the possible influx of Congolese refugees during the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the prospect of a massive return of Burundian refugees from the United Republic of Tanzania following the shift from facilitation to promotion of voluntary repatriation.
Crucially, the Mid-year Review was for the first time conducted jointly with the Government of Burundi, which meant a significant revision of existing humanitarian coordination mechanisms to match the changed institutional setting. It is of utmost importance for the humanitarian community to support the Government’s overall capacity for coordination, planning, resource mobilisation and response. Humanitarian response still represents an important component of the global peace consolidation process by stabilising populations and mitigating their exposure to humanitarian needs such as sudden food insecurity and epidemics.
The priorities for the remainder of 2006 are:
- Strengthen and support early warning and response mechanisms to populations at risk;
- Support Government policies in basic services provision with an emphasis on life saving activities;
- Support process of transition from relief to development with an emphasis on short-term programmes on reinsertion and community recovery in anticipation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) implementation;
- Continuous monitoring and promotion of human rights and strengthening of institutional accountability of the governmental security bodies.
The Mid-Year Review of the 2006 Consolidated Appeal has a revised requirement of US$ 123,012,389. A total of $30,729,677, which represents approximately 25% of the requested funds, has been committed to date, leaving unmet requirements of $92,282,712.