Political instability has crippled Burundi’s economy and driven massive displacement, as people continue to flee violence carried out by both the government, 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 in April 2015. ??Overall, over 422,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries since April 2015. 36% of Burundian refugees fled due to 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.
INFORM measures Burundi's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster as high, at 5.8/10. Lack of coping capacity and vulnerability are at concerning levels: 6.5/10 and 6.2/10 respectively.?
Increased food availability and falling staple food prices are expected to move some poor households to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity, but the majority are expected to be at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels ahead of the September lean season, when the number of poor households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes is likely to increase in a few areas with particularly limited income opportunities. However, WFP projects that a number of people will even reach Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity by November.??
Health: Malaria is still an epidemic in September. Critical situations are mainly faced in the northern, eastern and central provinces of Burundi, in particular in Kirundo, Cankuzo and Karuzi regions.?
Protection in areas where unrest is most prominent. 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 needs is absent.