2013 UNHCR country operations profile - Burundi
Two years after a presidential election, the socio-political environment in Burundi remains precarious. Human rights organizations and the media have reported arbitrary arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings. In addition, the country continues to experience high inflation resulting in the deterioration of the standard of living. These conditions also await some 40,000 Burundian nationals who are expected to return home by the end of 2012, the vast majority (35,000) following the closure of the Mtabila Refugee camp in the United Republic of Tanzania and the rest mostly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
According to a joint profiling report by the Government, UN agencies and NGOs, 78,900 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Burundi are in need of sustainable solutions. Since June 2012, there has been an increase in the flow of refugees and asylum-seekers into the country, especially from the DRC. Although repatriation of Congolese refugees has resumed, the number of returns has stayed low.
Burundi is a State party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol (with reservations which UNHCR continues its advocacy for Burundi to lift) as well as the 1969 OAU Convention on Refugees in Africa. Burundi has also signed the 2009 African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, otherwise known as the Kampala Convention. In May 2012, some 1,500 people from Oman who were at risk of statelessness were registered and provided with temporary residence permits by the Government.
An estimated 38,000 people, both refugees and asylum-seekers, will be in need of protection and material assistance in Burundi in 2013.
Assistance will also be required for some 40,000 Burundian refugees expected to return home from the United Republic of Tanzania and the DRC. The resulting large-scale returns to Burundi will have an effect on the scale of reintegration activities planned for 2013. Needs arising from disputes over access to land and property will be addressed in close collaboration with the Commission Nationale des Terres et autres Biens (CNTB).
|UNHCR 2013 planning figures for Burundi|
|TYPE OF POPULATION||ORIGIN||JAN 2013||DEC 2013|
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
Main objectives and targets for 2013
Fair protection processes and documentation
The quality of registration and profiling is improved or maintained.
All RSD applications are processed through the national framework on refugees and asylum-seekers.
Access to documentation is guaranteed for returnees 16 years and above and refugees 14 years and above.
UNHCR works with the Government on a strong legal framework that will help define durable solutions for 1,500 Omanis at risk of statelessness.
Security from violence and exploitation
The risk of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is reduced and the quality of the response to it is improved.
Some 38,000 refugees and 45,000 returnees are protected and provided with access to programmes on the prevention of, and response to, sexual violence.
Basic needs and essential services
Shelter and infrastructure are established, improved and maintained.
All refugee households live in adequate dwellings.
Around 2,000 shelters are constructed for some 10,000 beneficiaries.
The health of the population is improved.
The under-five mortality rate does not exceed six per 1,000 people per month.
Around 38,000 refugees and 40,000 returnees are provided with basic health care (including assistance for people living with HIV and AIDS).
The population has optimal access to education.
Some 22,000 refugee and 11,600 returnee children attend primary and secondary schools.
The supply of potable water is increased or maintained.
Better access to water is provided to around 26,000 refugees in the camps, and the target of 20 litres per person per day for Bwagiriza, Musasa and Garsorwe camps is reached.
The potential for voluntary return is realized.
Some 7,000 Burundian refugees from the DRC, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda repatriate voluntarily.
Some 6,000 Congolese refugees in Burundi repatriate voluntarily to the DRC.
The potential for resettlement is realized.
Some 2,000 refugees are resettled in third countries in 2013.
Strategy and activities in 2013
UNHCR will continue to protect and assist the approximately 38,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in camps and urban areas and to help the Government improve RSD and registration procedures. In order to accommodate the increasing number of refugees, the agency, in cooperation with the Government, will extend Bwagiriza Camp. If necessary, UNHCR will seek the Government's approval to establish a new camp. Moreover, it will take measures to prevent sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in collaboration with the Government, UNFPA and NGO Partners.
The reintegration of about 38,500 returnees, including those repatriated in 2011 and 2012 who may not yet have been assisted, will receive strong support. Legal aid will be given to returnees facing property re-possession disputes. Access to land remains the most sensitive issue with regard to the reintegration of returnees, and UNHCR will continue to support the peaceful resolution of land conflicts.
In 2013, UNHCR is planning to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of some 7,000 Burundians from other countries in the region by providing transport and standard assistance. It will also assist in the voluntary return of some 6,000 Congolese refugees during the year. Other durable solutions, including resettlement of 2,000 Congolese refugees according to specific criteria agreed for the region, will also be pursued.
Based on the findings of the profiling exercise of the IDP population conducted in 2011, UNHCR will support the Burundian Government as it implements a plan to find durable solutions for some 79,000 IDPs. UNHCR continues to work with the Government on establishing a legal framework on statelessness in order to facilitate a profiling exercise and define durable solutions for stateless people.
Burundi is in a post-conflict situation, characterized by a high rate of poverty (more than 80 per cent of the population lives on less than USD 1.25 per day). The extremely limited absorption capacity of the country prevents it from offering sustainable local integration or reintegration possibilities to refugees. Furthermore, the Government is shifting its priorities from humanitarian action to development, making it more difficult to mobilize funds for humanitarian activities. Finally, UNHCR's government counterparts do not have the capacity to work without strong direct support.
Organization and implementation
In 2013, UNHCR will continue to implement its mandate towards refugees, IDPs and returnees in close collaboration with the Government, other UN organizations and local development agencies. The aim is to support sustainable reintegration within the national development plan.
UNHCR Burundi's comprehensive budget for 2013 totals USD 25 million, representing a reduction of about 19 per cent from the 2012 budget of USD 30.8 million. The decrease primarily reflects the reduction in the number of returnees assisted. The budget includes some requirements that could result from the closure of Mtabila camp in the United Republic of Tanzania, which hosts some 38,000 Burundian refugees. It also covers new voluntary repatriation from and to the DRC and other countries and reintegration activities for returnees.
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2013 Update