1.1 million people in Burundi are considered in need of humanitarian assistance, including access to essential services and basic livelihoods, as a consequence of the ongoing political crisis that began in April 2015.
This political crisis is affecting one of the most fragile countries in the world.According to the 2015 UNDP report on Human Development, Burundi occupies 184th place (out of 188 countries) with 10.1 million inhabitants having a life expectancy of 56.7 years and a mortality rate of 82.9 under five years per thousand births.
Protection is the main humanitarian threat, particularly in relation to political violence, intimidation against the civilian population and violation of human rights. According to UNICEF, 249 children have been arbitrarily detained since April 2015. At least 743 people have been killed and hundreds others injured. More than 4,800 cases of human rights violations have been recorded since the beginning of the crisis. Rape and sexual assaults against women and girls have increased, while men and young people are victims of arbitrary arrests and summary executions.
According to UNHCR, some quarter of a million Burundians - more than half of them children - have fled to five neighbouring countries in search of asylum. Current estimations expect some 330,000 refugees to be of concern by the end of 2016. IOM estimates that 70,000 people are displaced inside the country and 70 percent of them live in families in the provinces of Bujumbura Mairie, Rutana, Makambe, Gitega, Ruyigi and Bujumbura Rural. The internal flows of displacement are increasing the pressure on host communities whose resources and access to services are limited, as well as on levels of food security, nutrition and livelihoods.
690,000 people in need of food assistance (IPC Phase 3 and 4). The rate of malnutrition is rising, with 50,000 children under five years suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
Insecurity and violence have limited the whole populations access to basic social and health services. It has also had a significant impact on an already stagnant and slow economy generating higher food prices in the markets, and interrupting educational activities in many parts of the country. According to UNDP, the political crisis is already impacting the delivery of social services with dramatic cuts in the 2016 budget for health (54%), agriculture (14%), education (27%) and human rights (65%). Donors have limited and/or reallocated their direct contributions to the government budget, further aggravating the situation.
Burundi is also prone to natural disasters such as localised flooding, particularly affecting the most vulnerable segments of the population, such as women and children, and forcing them to adopt unfavorable coping strategies. The country experienced a major flooding in November 2015 that affected at least 30,000 people, resulted in 52 deaths, and damage to more than 5,000 houses and 13,000 agricultural hectares.
(UPDATED: 31 Oct 2016)