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. ?? 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.?

Latest Developments

No recent significant humanitarian developments. This country is being monitored by our analysis team. Last checked 16/02. 

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.??

Key figures

  • 3,000,000 people in need  [?]
  • 391,000 refugees in neighbouring countries  [?]
  • 189,000 IDPs  [?]
  • 2,000 killed in political violence  [?]

Key priorities

Health: 3.1 million Burundians are in need of health assistance. As of December, the number of malaria cases is decreasing and the weekly case counts are below the epidemiologic threshold. Over 140 cases of cholera have been reported since August.?

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.?
  • Although small numbers of refugees have returned since being displaced in 2014, information on their needs is absent.



Key documents

UN Human Rights Council


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

Refugees International


Women and girls failed: The Burundian refugee response in Tanzania

International Crisis Group


Burundi: The Army in Crisis



BURUNDI SITUATION 2017: Supplementary Appeal