The year 2019 was particularly marked by health epidemics, with two cholera outbreaks declared, worrying peaks of malaria throughout the year, alarming measles cases reported since November and continuous efforts to prevent and prepare a spillover of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
UNICEF and its partners have been present on various fronts all along the year to provide an adequate multi sector response to the needs of children and families at-risk and affected by epidemics and natural disasters and those on the move.
32,745 children with severe acute malnutrition have been admitted and treated in health facilities supported by UNICEF.
A total of 1,558,273 people, more than half children, were reached with direct key life-saving messages on Ebola.
At the end of 2019, UNICEF has mobilized 96 per cent of the 2019 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) funding to respond to the most essential needs of children and women in Burundi.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF appealed for US$ 10M to sustain the provision of life-saving services for women and children in Burundi. In 2019, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), National Committees for UNICEF (France, Germany, US, UK, Australia), the Governments of Belgium and Korea and CERF have generously contributed to UNICEF Burundi’s humanitarian response. UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors for the contributions received.
Despite the fact that the Office was able to mobilize 96 per cent funding against the HAC 2019 target, the analysis per sector shows a funding gap of 20 per cent. This is due to the fact that the funding needs for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) preparedness were greater than originally planned and the office was successful in mobilizing funds to this effect while funding for other emergencies was more challenging.
Education and Health are the sectors most affected by this lack of funds, which has resulted in the need to reallocate from regular resources to procure the most urgent emergency supplies, including donations of medical inputs, particularly to respond to measles cases. At least US$ 500,000 is urgently needed to procure vaccines and essential medicines for the contingency plan.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The year 2019 was particularly marked by the response to and the preparedness for epidemics, with the occurrence of two cholera outbreaks that recorded the highest number since 2015, worrying peaks of malaria throughout the year which also led to the highest number of episodes since 2014, and finally, alarming suspected cases of measles from November onwards. The risk of an outbreak of EVD in Burundi has also significantly mobilized the government and partners for prevention and preparedness.
Burundi is particularly exposed to natural disasters, which are responsible for 79% of the displaced population1 , and in 2019, periods of drought, heavy rains, floods and landslides have caused human and material damage (partial or total destruction of classrooms, health centres, water systems, housing and loss of assets, protection issues).
The arrival trend of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remained stable in 2019. The number of repatriated Burundian refugees, mainly from Tanzania, stood at a relatively low level compared to the forecasts made for the year partly due to uncertainties in the context for example linked to reintegration opportunities.
The situation of children in Burundi remains of concern despite efforts to address the multifaceted needs and protection risks they face. The shock created by humanitarian emergencies in the current socio-economic context has a direct impact on the resilience of families and communities. Vulnerable children, including returnees, out of school youth or children living in the streets are at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. A significant number of children, especially returnees from neighboring countries, do not have birth certificates which limits their access to basic services, especially health and education.
UNICEF and its partners have been present on these different fronts all along the year to provide an adequate multi sector response to the needs of affected and at-risk children and families.