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FAO in the 2019 humanitarian appeal: Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plan 2019–2020

DR Congo
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Despite the slight improvement of the security situation in Burundi, human rights concerns persist and the underlying political conflict causing people to flee remains unresolved, with thousands of Burundians expected to seek refuge in neighbouring countries in 2019.


FAO is working with partners in the Food Security Cluster to: • Support the transition of refugees and returnees from aid dependence towards self-reliance and resilience, with the capacity and opportunity to contribute to the economic development of their host communities – breaking the dependency cycle and restoring their dignity.


Democratic Republic of the Congo

USD 1.2 million required to assist 36 000 people


USD 4.9 million required to assist 21 500 people

food security and livelihoods assessments | carry out studies on wood fuel demand and supply | deforestation monitoring system | forestry management plans | alternative sources of energy for cooking and lighting | energy-saving stoves | agricultural support in urban and peri-urban areas | strengthen coordination with key stakeholders


USD 1.35 million required to assist 32 550 people


USD 803 725 required to assist 5 000 people

United Republic of Tanzania

USD 650 000 required to assist 5 000 people

Impact on food security

The political crisis and related security and humanitarian conditions in Burundi have led to the outflow of over 400 000 Burundian refugees since 2015. As the situation in the country remains unresolved, the outflow of Burundians in the region is expected to continue in 2019. Burundian refugees in neighbouring countries still face limited livelihood opportunities that are mainly compounded by inadequate levels of farming land and limited access to financial services. Other challenges include insufficient land for producing food, lack of seeds, tools and access to capital. Furthermore, dependency on natural resources for energy and shelter materials leads to environmental degradation and increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence for women and children. As a result, Burundian refugees remain highly dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival and require increased livelihoods support. Greater self-reliance and the opportunity for refugees to contribute to their host countries remain the objectives of socio-economic inclusion and livelihood activities.

During the last two years, increasingly significant numbers of Burundian refugees have decided to return to the country. While voluntary repatriation is an important solution, Burundians are going back to a context of socioeconomic fragility, requiring a much greater investment in their sustainability.

Once back, Burundian returnees face a number of socio-economic reintegration challenges, including to access shelters, as they may not be able to go back to their homes, as well as their land due to a variety of reasons such, as temporary occupation by family members in their absence and land disputes. With 15 percent of the Burundian population facing acute food insecurity, the arrival of returnees to some of the most impacted areas will increase pressure on already limited resources. Ensuring access to land, providing livelihood support and strengthening resilience for returnees and their home communities are important to ensure sustainable returns and foster social cohesion.