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 8,000 people have been imprisoned since the beginning of the crisis.?Overall, an estimated 414,000 people have fled political violence to neighbouring countries since April 2015.? By the end of 2017, this figure is expected to exceed 500,000. In addition to displacement and protection concerns, deteriorating socioeconomic conditions are driving humanitarian needs for basic healthcare and education, as well as food, nutrition, and livelihoods support. ?

Deteriorating socioeconomic conditions are driving humanitarian needs for basic health and education services, as well as food, nutrition, and livelihoods support. Over 700,000 people are facing Emergency food insecurity (IPC level 4) in Kirundo and Bubanza provinces. Over 1,800,000 in 11 provinces are in Crisis (IPC phase 3).?

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 updates as of 26/05. Last updated 09/05.

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Key figures

  • 3,100,000 people in need  [?]
  • 415,000 refugees in neighbouring countries  [?]
  • 169,000 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 April 2017, 2,56 million people are estimated to be suffering from food insecurity (IPC level 3 and 4).?

Health: Malaria was still an epidemic in April. 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.?



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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.



Lessons learned

  • The humanitarian telephone hotline has improved the flow of information on humanitarian needs in rural areas since its launch in 2015. However, it has had little impact in Bujumbura, where insecurity is greatest.?
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