Political instability has crippled Burundi’s economy and driven displacement, as people continue to flee prosecution and violence carried out by both the government, the opposition and their respective supporters. Assassinations, disappearances, kidnappings, torture and mass arrests have been reported. More than 400,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries since April 2015, of whom 60,000 fled in 2017. The remaining and returning populations face recurring natural hazards and food insecurity.?

INFORM measures Burundi's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster as high, at 6/10. Lack of coping capacity and vulnerability are at concerning levels: 6.5/10 and 6.7/10 respectively.?

Key figures

  • 3,600,000 people in need  [?]
  • 383,000 refugees in neighbouring countries  [?]
  • 159,000 IDPs  [?]
  • 2,000 killed in political violence  [?]

Key priorities

Health: 3 million Burundians are in need of health assistance.? Over 50% of collines (administrative departments) have no health centre. Lack of personnel and medical material is one of the major barriers to the provision of adequate healthcare. ?

Food: 1.7 million people are food insecure. ?

Protection: 1.8 million people are in need of protection services. ?

WASH: 979,000 people in Burundi are in need of WASH assistance. Severe limitations in access to water, WASH infrastructure and waste management. ?

Education: 458,000 people (including IDPs, returnees and refugees) lack access to basic education in a secure environment. Insecurity, a precarious socioeconomic situation and recurring natural disasters are the main obstacles affecting access to education. ?

Shelter: 440,000 people are in need of shelter assistance. ?

Information Gaps and needs

  • The closure of most independent media outlets means a lack of impartial accounts of political violence. Disappearances of journalists have been reported, most notably Iwacu journalist Jean Bigirimana - Iwacu is the single remaining independent media outlet operating in Burundi.??
  • Although over 50,000 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