Political instability has crippled Burundi’s economy and driven massive displacement, as people continue to flee violence carried out by both the government and opposition, and their respective supporters. The country has experienced murders, disappearances, kidnappings, torture and mass arrests: more than 9,000 people have been imprisoned since the beginning of the crisis.??Overall, over 423,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries since April 2015. 36% of Burundians refugees fled because of the ongoing sociopolitical crisis, and 63% fled for reasons related to natural disasters.??By the end of 2017, this figure is expected to exceed 500,000.

In addition, deteriorating socioeconomic conditions are driving humanitarian needs for basic health and education services, as well as food, nutrition, and livelihoods support. Over 1,500,000 in are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4).?

INFORM measures Burundi's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster as high, at 6.3/10. Hazard and exposure as well as lack of coping capacity and vulnerability are all at concerning levels: 6.1/10, 6.4/10 and 6.4/10 respectively.?

Latest Developments

No significant developments 26/07. Last updated 11/07.

Key figures

  • 3,100,000 people in need  [?]
  • 423,056 refugees in neighbouring countries  [?]
  • 209,000 IDPs  [?]
  • 2,000 killed in political violence  [?]

Key priorities

Food security and livelihoods:  Poor rainfalls from December 2016 to February 2017 contributed to the worsening of food security and livelihoods: as of May 2017, 1.5 million people are estimated to be suffering from food insecurity (IPC level 3 and 4).?

Health: Malaria was still an epidemic in May. Critical situation is mainly faced in the northern, eastern and southern provinces of Burundi, in particular in Kirundo, Cankuzo and Karuzi regions.?

Protection in areas where unrest is most prominent, particularly concerning youths who have been heavily targeted. Presently 1.8 million Burundians are in need of protection assistance.?



Information Gaps and needs

  • The closure of most independent media outlets means impartial accounts of political violence are lacking. Disappearances of journalists have been reported, most notably Iwacu journalist Jean Bigirimana - Iwacu is the single remaining independent media outlet operating in Burundi.??
  • The oldest human rights group in Burundi, Ligue Iteka, was banned from operating in January 2017.?
  • Coverage of internal displacement is lacking.
  • Although small numbers of refugees have returned since being displaced in 2014, information on their humanitarian situation is absent.



Key documents



Aperçu des besoins humanitaires 2016



Plan de réponse humanitaire (janvier-décembre 2016)



Burundi Situation: Regional Refugee Response Plan (January-December 2016)

Refugees International


Women and girls failed: The Burundian refugee response in Tanzania

Refugees International


Asylum betrayed: Recruitment of Burundian refugees in Rwanda

UN Human Rights Council


Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Burundi