Burundi has been in crisis since April 2015 after President Nkurunziza’s announcement to run for a third term. The economy has declined significantly due to political instability, insecurity and the suspension of foreign aid which was 48% of the national income in 2015. ?Despite a decrease in overt violence since 2016, violations such as disappearances and torture by the police, military, and the ruling party’s youth league, Imbonerakure, persist. ? Although the president has now rescinded his decison to run in the elections, political persecution still continues with the Burundian government admitting to killing 22 ‘wrongdoers’ outside Bujumbura at the end of February 2020.?Insecurity and political persecution have led to displacements, with over 300,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania, Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda.?

The economic crisis, widespread poverty, and climatic factors are the main drivers of food insecurity. Over 1.7m people are considered in need from the protracted complex crisis, with more than 750,000 people facing severe humanitarian conditions.? Food insecurity is heightened by continuous dry spells, absence of adequate rains and endemic drought that has been affecting not just Burundi, but the Southern African regional bloc.

Latest Developments

28/05/2020: On 13 May, Burundi declared the WHO representative and three other officials persona non grata and gave them 48 hours to leave the country. This follows accusations that the WHO was interfering in Burundi’s COVID-19 response, after which the Burundian government sidelined the WHO from offering medical or humanitarian relief to people infected or affected by the disease. WHO officials and officials of other organisations had spoken out on Burundi’s non-compliance with medical and hygiene regulations, especially during mass political campaign rallies that took place before Burundi’s 22 May elections. Thousands of people attended rallies, including the Burundian President and state officials, without social distancing, or wearing facial masks or hand gloves. This expulsion follows Burundi’s 2016 banning of UN employees from entering the country and its 2018 expulsion of UN Human Rights Team.?

07/05/2020: A measles outbreak beginning in November 2019 has resulted in 857 confirmed cases in Burundi. The outbreak started in the Centre de transit de Cishemere, a refugee transit camp in Cibitoke health district. The initial confirmed cases had arrived from DRC, which has been battling a measles epidemic. Measles have spread to the host community in Cibitoke and surrounding areas of Butezi, Cankuzo, and South Bujumbura. Children aged between 9 and 59 months are the most affected.? Although the Burundian Ministry of Health and INGOs are responding, aggravating factors that may increase the caseload are the continuing number of refugees arriving from DRC, the fact that refugees are carriers – potentially causing friction between the refugees and host communities – and the lack of adequate health infrastructure to tackle the spread. Upcoming elections in Burundi are also a factor likely to distract the government from eradicating the disease, coupled with health facilities already strained and focusing on COVID-19.

Key Figures

Total population
People displaced
People in Need
Key figures are for the entire response and are not CCCM-specific.

INFORM Global Crisis Severity Index

Crisis Severity: 2.7

Impact: 2.4

Humanitarian Conditions: 2.5

Complexity: 3.3

Access Constraints: 3

The above scale is from 0 (Very low) to 5 (Very high)
Information courtesy of ACAPS.
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HDX datasets

12 Common Operating Datasets or CCCM-tagged datsets are on the Humanitarian Data Exchange: