Political instability has crippled Burundi’s economy and driven massive displacement, as populations continue to flee violence carried out by both the government and opposition, and their respective supporters. Deteriorating socioeconomic conditions are driving humanitarian needs for basic health and education services, as well as food, nutrition, and livelihoods support? Over 368,000 people have fled political violence to neighbouring countries since April 2015. ? By the end of 2017, it is estimated this figure will exceed 524,000. ?

Burundi, which scores 6.3/10 on the INFORM index, which is considered to be very high.?

Latest Developments

01/03: 56,000 children diagnosed with SAM are expected to require life-saving intervention in the coming months. ? 

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Crisis Overview 2016 - Burundi

The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016

Burundi is one of the 15 crises analysed in this report.

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Key figures

  • 3,100,000 people in need
  • 386,800 refugees in neighbouring countries
  • 169,000 IDPs
  • 1,400 killed in political violence

Key priorities

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. ?

Food security and livelihoods, which continue to worsen as violence and insecurity persist,  interrupting agriculture and economic activities. 3 million people are estimated to be suffering from food insecurity as of February 2017. ?

Health: Malaria caseload has increased four times, from 2 million to 8 million, since the crisis began in April, 2014. ? ?

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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. ?
  • Information on displacement in rural areas is lacking, although IOM’s DTM is slowly covering more provinces, currently seven.?
  • 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