In close partnership with the Government of Burundi and other key actors, IOM seeks to ensure that humanitarian needs are met and progress is made towards the resolution of displacement due to natural disasters and reintegration for returnees while building resilience towards future shocks and stressors. IOM Burundi envisions to expand its current program portfolio to adapt to the varying dynamics and issues that the country faces.
The target beneficiaries in this section are internally displaced persons affected by natural disasters and non-displaced crisis-affected persons and communities.
As the lead agency in cross-border coordination, IOM Burundi is partnering the Government of Burundi to provide assistance on recommendations for outbreak preparedness and response measures through national forums, such as the National Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and COVID-19 Task Force. In the wake of several emerging health threats (i.e. EVD, COVID-19, Measles, Marburg, etc.) in the region and the worsening endemic spread of malaria due to climate change, it is of urgent importance that IOM Burundi support preparedness against new and endemic epidemics and cross-border outbreaks. IOM will provide assistance in strengthening public health surveillance at border areas, training border officials, including health and immigration officers, and providing health and non-health equipment and materials at POEs. Health, border and mobility management (HBMM) activities in Burundi will include supporting the government to:
- Establish a joint cross-border technical working group;
- Develop standard operating procedures on health at the Burundi (Gatumba) - DRC (Kamvivira) border;
- Train frontline health and border officials;
- Collect data on flow monitoring across borders;
- Provide basic surveillance equipment at points of entry and the central level.
By working with government, civil society and key health partners, IOM Burundi aims to strengthen the capacity of relevant mental health and psychosocial services provided to vulnerable migrants, including crisis-affected populations. Building upon previous experience, IOM aims to support the peaceful coexistence and social cohesion of communities most affected by displacement, with high vulnerability and in need of direct mental health and psychosocial support. Activities will include direct mental health and psychosocial support through individual and group counselling, psychoeducation, and clinical psychological consultations.
IOM Burundi is expanding its counter-trafficking work in the context of the Mission’s response to natural disasters, internal displacement and to returns from Tanzania.
Beneficiaries of direct assistance and prevention activities will include IDPs, returning refugees and asylum seekers, and other crisis-affected populations. Following the identification of victims, the tailored and holistic assistance provided by IOM in partnership with local NGOs will include:
- Emergency shelter and other material assistance;
- Psychosocial and medical assistance;
- Legal assistance;
- Support to engage in income-generating activities;
- Durable shelter solutions;
- Information and referrals to other relevant services.
The interventions will be informed by ad hoc rapid assessments of protection needs and risks, as well as IOM research on human trafficking trends in Burundi.
Key stakeholders, such as central and local authorities and local and international NGOs, will benefit from IOM’s capacity building activities on counter-trafficking in humanitarian settings. These will include trainings and workshops on the legal frameworks, identification of victims, as well as referral and assistance in the context of existing protection activities of multiple agencies in the country.
IOM aims to establish a Shelter and Non-Food Items (S-NFI) pipeline, as co-lead of the Shelter-NFI Sector, based on experience in countries such as South Sudan, Somalia and Bangladesh. This will be contextualized for the country and with Sector partners, providing an efficient system for receiving goods from donors (particularly from abroad to ensure the minimum standards of quality) and to enable IOM and the Shelter-NFI Sector members (national and international NGOs) to receive, track and deploy items to the areas in most need, giving access to the in-kind resources to assist the Burundian population affected by the protracted crisis, underfunded crises and potential crises in the future.
Other activities targeted by IOM Burundi to assist crisis-affected populations would include the provision of shelter repair kits, emergency shelters, semi-permanent shelters, NFI kits, and rental support grants targeting both the host and the hosted families. This approach will take into consideration gender and inclusion, also taking a participatory approach (through the creation of women committees for repair/construction tasks, supported by local masons) and include both in-kind and cash modalities depending on the context. For all shelter interventions, assistance will also make sure that ownership of land and property of the beneficiaries is valid, and facilitates the community validation of land titles in the other case.
According to the DTM December 2019 Internal Displacement dashboard, 79 per cent of internal displacement is due to natural disasters. From January to 4 Feb 2020, DTM tracked 24 natural disasters in the provinces of Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, Cibitoke, Karusi, Rutana and Rumonge, including torrential rains, floods, strong winds and landslides. More than 25,500 persons have been affected, with 14,900 displaced. The torrential rains have affected more than 14,800 persons (4,393 displaced) and the floods in the Bujumbura Rural and Bujumbura Mairie regions have affected more than 9,811 persons (9,743 displaced). The strong winds and landslides have affected 865 persons (784 displaced), and damage to infrastructure included 1,541 houses destroyed, 2,350 houses partially destroyed and 1,789 houses flooded.
DTM will continue its Emergency Event Tracking (EET) activities in all the communes of Burundi to capture key data on natural disasters that affect populations and cause displacement. Timely and accurate information (on affected population, natural disaster impact and needs) will be shared with partners for humanitarian response.
All of the information that has been tracked on natural disasters have been shared in time with partners to plan for and provide adapted assistance. DTM will also provide information on communes that are more vulnerable to natural disasters. DTM will target any person that is affected or displaced due to natural disasters. As the Burundi Red Cross (BRC) has a good network and presence in all the commune, the EET data will be collected by the BRC volunteers.
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
The focus in this plan is on crisis-affected populations in Burundi that include IDPs and returnees living in their communities. Activities and associated funding needs related to community stabilization and reintegration support for Burundian returnees from the United Republic of Tanzania are elaborated in the Voluntary Repatriation and Reintegration of Burundian Refugees CRP.
DTM is increasingly used to support recovery and transition in the context of return and reintegration processes. Analysis of existing DTM data or data from adapted DTM tools, often in combination with other available data and analysis, can contribute towards providing an evidence base for transition and recovery programming and measurement of progress towards more development-orientated outcomes, including durable solutions.
To get a clear understanding of return intentions, profiles and socio-economic situations of IDPs, IOM will conduct household-level surveys based on a sampling per province that is representative of the internally displaced populations. DTM will target internally displaced households and returnee IDP households for surveys. This information will be relevant to the Government and other key actors to understand needs, vulnerabilities, the economic situation of the displacement and the return conditions of IDPs to their communities of origin to support progress towards achieving durable solutions.
IOM Burundi will address the longer-term impact of crises and displacement by emphasizing support to local institutions, organizations, and development partners to effectively mitigate and address crises (environmental or otherwise). As a continuation of its current efforts to strengthen the resilience of communities and institutions to epidemics and disasters, IOM Burundi has been providing training and material support to the INSP (Institute of Public Health of Burundi), as well as the Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services Institute (THARS) to strengthen their capacity for disease surveillance, but also to train the health sector to deliver essential emergency health services to communities affected by disasters, including psychological first aid.
IOM Burundi also plans to strengthen the health sector’s capacity to extend services to crisis-affected displaced persons community engagement in districts vulnerable to flooding and natural disasters, as well as districts with large cross-border communities on both DRC and Tanzania’s borders. This will be done to actively engage community leaders and members of cross-border communities near Points of Entry (POEs), geared at strengthening the capacity to prevent and respond to potential disease outbreaks, focusing on encouraging basic hygiene practices and communicable disease information dissemination. IOM will target provinces where cross-border trainings and coordination meetings are currently being implemented to ensure the activities complement each other. Complementary border management activities will include continued support for a crossborder coordination mechanism where emerging health and security concerns may be discussed among health and border officials, as well as providing equipment to POEs within the targeted provinces and to the immigration department of the Ministry of Public Security and Disaster Management to enhance technical capacities of the border management agencies and reinforcing coordination between the local and the central level, ultimately benefiting populations who engage in cross-border movements and border communities that may be exposed to health risks. IOM also plans to develop national standard operating procedures on Humanitarian Border Management (HBM)/and Health, Border and Mobility Management (HBMM) with a focus on infectious diseases, and improve cross-border surveillance through flow monitoring in points located in 2 priority provinces along the DRC-Burundi border.
As many returning refugees are compelled to reside with family or friends upon their arrival in Burundi, tensions stemming from a lack of resources, including land and shelter, can arise. IOM will, therefore, support the durable reintegration of returnees through enhancing their access to land. Communication with Communities (CwC) activities including sensitization trainings on the rights and processes regarding access to land according to the national legislation and will be conducted with returnees, host communities and local authorities. These trainings will aim to reduce existing conflicts around housing, land and property (HLP) and will be followed by public validations of land titles at the community level.
At the community level, IOM seeks to strengthen knowledge on HLP, Right to Land and administrative procedures regarding access to land, especially in the case of female-headed households who are subject to further marginalization, especially when they have not been part of a formalized marriage. This will help reduce the tensions and levels of conflict linked to housing, land and property within the return areas, and reduce risks of gender-based violence linked to HLP.
At the communal level, IOM will aim to strengthen the capacities of the local administration to address and communicate HLP issues, to help ensure the long-term continuation of the land formalization and validation process, with a view to reducing tensions, levels of conflict, and GBV risks linked to HLP. IOM will provide capacity building through sensitizations and training sessions or the existing Communal Land Service personnel. These trainings will highlight ways of efficiently mapping land plots at the commune level.
Where the Communal Land Service does not exist, the IOM team and its partners will facilitate the (re)establishment of a temporary Peace Committee to help reduce levels of conflict. This Peace Committee will benefit from similar trainings delivered to the Communal Land Services, strengthening their understanding and capacity to operate within the scope of the current existing Burundi legislation. The Peace Committee will be identified in coordination with the local authorities and the community to ensure it will include both female and male members of the displaced and host community, as well as local administrations. In complement, the IOM team and partners will continue to advocate and sensitize local authorities on the importance of setting up a Communal Land Service that will permanently replace the temporary Peace Committees.
In reference to the Manual on Community-Based MHPSS in Emergencies and Displacement, principal activities will include conflict mapping and forum theatre with a focus on integrated trauma identification. The solutions identified to problems that are raised during the forum theatre will be carried out as Quick Impact Projects to aid in healing MHPSS problems. MHPSS activities also aim to establish and reinforce the resilience capacity of those communities through community mobilization, referral systems and capacity building.
Difficult sanitary and hygiene conditions in rural areas, mostly linked to a lack of sensitization on good hygiene practices and handwashing, and a lack of latrines and handwashing facilities, render returnees and host communities vulnerable to communicable diseases including malaria, cholera, acute watery diarrhoea and other diseases of epidemic potential. This is aggravated by the struggling public health system in Burundi, highlighting the need for prevention and mitigation measures to combat the spread of disease.
IOM intends to provide crisis-affected and populations returning from the United Republic of Tanzania with WASH assistance in the Eastern provinces bordering Tanzania (Muyinga, Cankuzo, Kirundo, Rutana, Makamba), based on needs assessments.
With consideration of gender and inclusion principles, and through both in-kind and cash-for-work modalities based on context, IOM will focus on providing familial latrines, hygiene kits, and ensure a strong sensitization and training process on handwashing and good hygiene practices at the household level.
In an effort to mitigate tensions related to the elections, IOM seeks to implement peacebuilding and peace mediation interventions. These would address potential social unrest around the elections through the promotion of community-based peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms. Through the conflict resolution and social cohesion components of the project, community members will have the opportunity to process and examine specific situations in their daily lives, which reflect underlying social tensions or frustrations. This process will result in members of the community, especially youth, to work together to alleviate tensions identified and propose solutions. Furthermore, social cohesion will be enhanced through various activities such as: (i) sports tournaments; (ii) support to civil society groups to organize speeches on topics that are collectively selected, such as debates and conferences; or (iii) artistic projects or musical events to promote and encourage local talent and culture.
IOM Burundi also supports the government through security sector reform (SSR) initiatives designed to build the capacity of Burundian law enforcement officials, such as police and immigration authorities, in communicating with communities to promote positive community engagement. Administrative and procedural skills will be reinforced to increase internal accountability in conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution at the community level. To complement this, communities will be sensitized to better work with formal and informal law enforcement actors to increase the flow of information with communities during times of conflict. IOM aims to reach 4,000 direct beneficiaries from law enforcement officials and community members including women and other vulnerable profiles.
IOM's disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities will have a positive impact on the entire country and the inhabitants of the 119 communes of Burundi. For more localized interventions at the community level, DRR activities will have a direct impact on 3,786,888 people (estimated population of the 50 preselected municipalities). IOM's targeted beneficiaries will be 80 per cent at-risk communities, 10 per cent returnees, and 10 per cent IDPs (50% men, 50% women), and will also consider the criteria of vulnerability in the selection of beneficiaries.
IOM aims to strengthen the capacities of the Government and the Burundian population to plan for and mitigate the impact of disaster-related emergencies, foster socio-economic opportunities and promote sustainable agricultural practices. In Burundi, IOM’s priority Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) interventions will include: hazard mapping, multi-hazard risk assessments, community-based disaster risk management, planned relocation, resilient livelihood development, early warning systems, DRR policy and strategy, disaster preparedness and hazard-informed emergency response. In terms of disaster prevention in Burundi, IOM will focus on three primary components as the backbone of this programme, which intersect to form a comprehensive, multi-sectoral, and community approach: risk mapping, contingency planning and disaster risk reduction interventions.
IOM will start with risk mapping, at the national level tailored to five primary hazards: torrential rain, strong winds, flooding, landslides, and earthquakes. Data will be collected using satellite imagery, historical weather patterns, climate change scenarios, census information, and geological mapping, inter alia. The information will be used to create probability models and vulnerability indexes to inform the risk maps. This will involve communities, authorities, and partners from the outset to work together to draw up contingency plans to prepare for and respond to the identified risks.
Finally, IOM will continue to identify communities in which to implement DRR projects. This information, coupled with the risk mapping, contingency planning and community engagement, will allow for evidence-based interventions to be designed and implemented in the most vulnerable areas of the country. It is expected that this component will include projects such as slope stabilization, reforestation, river-bank protection, drainage canals, retrofitting of infrastructure, and crop rotation projects.
To integrate health components into emergency preparedness and risk reduction, IOM plans to:
- Coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security and Disaster Management to advise and incorporate health and migration elements to all contingency plans and policies. IOM Burundi also plans to conduct a risk assessment with government counterparts based on hazard, vulnerability and capacity analysis on the level of preparedness to extend access to essential health services to displaced persons in the event of catastrophe.
- Use education and information to build a culture of multilevel health and safety resilience by reinforcing the capacity of the Institute of Public Health (INSP) as well as key local partners such as ZOA Africa, THARS (Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services), and Red Cross Burundi in order to strengthen the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of professionals and promote healthy behaviours.
By working with government, civil society and key health partners, IOM aims to strengthen the capacity of relevant mental health and psychosocial (MHPSS) services provided to vulnerable migrants, including crisis-affected populations. This will be achieved through a mapping exercise of available psychosocial actors and services in targeted provinces, and capacity-building in the form of training for community health workers volunteers working in public hospitals, psychiatric nurses and local authorities.
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.