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Burundi: Situation Report (19 Nov 2020) [EN/RN]

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  • Update on the COVID-19 situation

  • Rains from October to December may exacerbate the needs of vulnerable populations

  • At least 42 per cent of people targeted by the Humanitarian Response Plan have been assisted despite low funding

  • More than 20,000 Burundians repatriated on a voluntary basis since January

  • Resident Coordinator ad interim, Mr. Niels Scott, already in the field

Rains from October to December may exacerbate the needs of vulnerable populations

In April-May 2020, heavy rainfall caused the Rusizi River to overflow in Gatumba, Bujumbura Rural province, displacing over 46,000 people, including about 24,000 people at displacement sites. The situation of these families in and around the river is likely to become critical this season.

Following the heavy rains in April and May 2020, some neighborhoods of Gatumba are still flooded, hindering the return of displaced families to their homes. This situation increases the risk of certain pathologies proliferating, such as acute respiratory infections (including COVID-19), water-borne diseases, allergies, malaria and dermatoses. In addition, there is a significant risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections or diseases caused in part by promiscuity and gender-based violence.

Humanitarian partners and the Government of Burundi have provided a great deal of assistance to those affected by this situation. For example, UNICEF is conducting water supply activities in the displacement sites (albeit with limited capacity), the local association Social Action for Development (SAD) is providing child protection services, and Médecins Sans Frontières is supporting health services. OCHA continues to facilitate weekly coordination meetings for Gatumba's humanitarian response.

Despite these efforts, the multisectoral needs of this displaced population persist. The tents are dilapidated from wear and tear and the occupants are not safe from bad weather conditions. There is also an increased shortage of food and non-food items including mats, blankets, household goods, mosquito nets, and dignity kits for women and girls of reproductive age.

To date, 42 per cent of the required budget has been mobilized from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Partners are already using some of these funds to profile internally displaced persons (IDPs) and identify those who can and want to return to their homes. The short-term goal is to dismantle sites of displacement and provide more durable solutions. Additional funds are required to cover the basic needs (food, shelter, and water supply) of the people affected in Gatumba, over a period from October to December 2020.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit