• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 13,000,000 Total population [?]
  • 631,000 People displaced [?]
  • 1,800,000 People in Need [?]



Burundi has been facing a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis since April 2015, after  President Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term and the subsequent crackdown on opposition strongholds.?The economy declined significantly as a result of political instability, insecurity, and the suspension of fiscal  and foreign aid, which accounted for 48% of the national income in 2015.?Évariste Ndayishimiye, a member of the ruling party, won the 2020 election and was instated as president in June 2020, following the death of President Nkurunziza.?Some positive changes have taken place under the new Government, such as the resumption of fiscal and foreign aid after financial sanctions were lifted in June 2021.?On the other hand, human rights violations – including disappearances and torture by security forces and the ruling party’s youth league,  Imbonerakure – have continued. There are also significant restrictions on the freedom of the media and civil society.?

Insecurity and political persecution have led to international displacement, with nearly 331,000 Burundian refugees living in other countries as at April 2022.?Over 193,000 Burundians were assisted to return between September 2017 and April 2022, mostly from Tanzania. The interest in voluntary repatriation increased after the 2020 election. The number of returnees from January–August 2021 quadrupled compared to the same period in 2021.?Returnees, who are mostly subsistence farmers, are generally well received. 81% of returnees’ households have access to land, 95% have access to water, and 81% have access to healthcare. The majority, however, have difficulties accessing housing; many returnees find their previous homes uninhabitable. Only 50% of returnee children attend school.?

Over 122,400 Burundians are internally displaced, primarily because of natural disasters. 34% of them have been displaced for at least five years. The majority of IDPs have integrated with host populations, and only 6% reside in IDP camps.?

The economic crisis, widespread poverty, and climate-related factors are the main drivers of food insecurity. The protracted, complex crisis has left 1.8 million people in need.?

Latest Developments


Heavy rainfall and flooding from 19–25 March 2023 affected more than 12,800 people and displaced nearly 30 in Mukaza and Kayanza communes. The majority of the people affected were in Kayanza commune. 127 homes were either partially flooded or damaged, while three classrooms were destroyed. Some farmland was also inundated. The affected population needs food, shelter, WASH, and NFIs.?

Key Priorities


Health: A lack of health centres in 50% of administrative departments as well as a lack of health workers and medical supplies is one of the major barriers to the provision of adequate healthcare, rendering the country extremely vulnerable to epidemics and other shocks.?

Education: Around 50% of children from returnee households assessed by UNHCR have challenges accessing education, largely because of delays in processing civil documentation necessary for school enrolment.?

Protection: The violent repression mainly targets opponents of the government and/or the ruling party (CNDD-FDD) or people perceived as such but also Burundians trying to flee the country, journalists, and members of civil society organisations. ? 

Food Security and Livelihoods


Over 90% of Burundi's population depend on subsistence farming. High exposure to extreme climatic events (dry spells, floods, hail, and landslides) coupled with intensive exploitation of croplands weaken agricultural production however, driving food insecurity. Provinces in the north and north-east of the country, as well as areas along Lake Tanganyika, are particularly affected. The return of Burundian refugees from Tanzania and Rwanda and internal displacement driven by natural disasters are adding further pressure to already scarce natural resources; only 36% of the country’s land is cultivable, leading to competition over land. COVID-19 mitigation measures also disrupt trade – especially informal commerce – and limit cross-border movements, leading to loss of income. Between October–December 2020, 1.33 million people (11% of the assessed population) were estimated to be facing high acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above). Returnees and IDPs are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition.?