In close partnership with the Government of the Republic of Burundi and other key actors, IOM seeks to ensure that humanitarian needs are met, and progress is made towards resolving displacement. This entails assistance to incoming refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and reintegration of returning Burundian refugees, as well as efforts to enhance preparedness and build resilience in the face of future shocks and stressors. IOM Burundi envisages to expand its current program portfolio to adapt to the varying dynamics and issues that the country faces, including the impacts of climate change and potential health risks, while protecting the rights of those affected by, or at risk of, a crisis.
IOM will work in close collaboration with the GoB in providing assistance to:
- Vulnerable Burundian returnee households.
- IDPs and vulnerable persons who have been severely affected by natural disasters.
- Host communities in areas of displacement and communities of return where services are inadequate or overstretched.
- Incoming refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo seeking refuge in Burundi.
IOM will provide shelter and NFIs to IDPs in displacement sites, as well as to Burundian returnees and refugees from neighbouring countries. The activities will include but are not be limited to:
- Provision of shelter and shelter repair kits and household ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrine (including a hand-washing system, inclusive of soap), with associated toolkits for construction committees involved in the construction and repair activities. In order to make this activity inclusive, support to persons with specific needs will be provided.
- Provision of standard NFI kits based on the needs of beneficiaries.
- Provision of rental support for households affected by natural or human-made disasters.
- Communication with Communities (CwC) activities: provision of assistance will be complemented by sensitization activities on (1) good construction practices and risk mitigation for beneficiaries of shelter repairs or construction, and (2) financial inclusion, for beneficiaries of rental support. All distribution and awareness-raising activities will be carried out following recommended COVID-19 preventive measures, such as physical distancing, limiting large crowds, wearing adequate protective equipment and using handwashing systems at distributions and sensitization sites.
- Support for access to basic household items that are based on the needs of the beneficiaries, through cash-based interventions and in-kind support on a case-by-case basis.
- Improvement of living conditions of vulnerable households through rehabilitation of damaged housing to support improved living conditions in regards to safety, privacy and dignity.
- Provision of emergency assistance to vulnerable families living in critical or substandard shelters in informal sites and areas of return, through in-kind or emergency cash assistance.
- Conduct housing, land and property (HLP) due diligence, address land disputes via alternatives dispute resolution mechanisms and referrals, and strengthen the security of tenure for returnees.
IOM will provide camp management support to the government, in the context of natural disasters (IDP sites in Gatumba) and in the context of refugees from DRC (in collaboration with UNHCR). Activities will include:
- Improving living conditions in camps through maintenance and critical upgrades.
- Implementing site risk reduction interventions, with a focus on safeguarding the protection of camp populations.
- Encouraging community participation and maintaining mechanisms to ensure accountability to affected populations in the camps.
- Facilitating coordination of all actors in the camp for improved services.
- Building capacities of government actors on CCCM and advocating for a well-planned and dignified camp consolidation and closure process, and respect for the affected populations rights to movement.
IOM supports returnees in facilitating their reintegration back into their areas of origin as well as supporting the host communities. The returnees are usually faced with several challenges constituting barriers to safe and dignified living conditions, including destroyed or damaged housing and lack of basic services, such as safe water. This also applies to some IDPs and refugees from DRC, living in precarious situations. IOM aims to:
- Improve access to safe water and reduce risks of water-borne diseases with improved access to clean water in accordance with SPHERE standards in their shelter and surroundings.
- Provision of WASH item kits inclusive of Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) items for girls and women of reproductive age, and for which the composition will be in-line with the national recommendations.
- Contribute to promoting improved hygiene practices among the supported households and communities, through targeted sensitizations and community dialogues.
- Support WASH in health facilities that are close to designated points of entry (POE) supported by IOM.
IOM Burundi will provide mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) with a focus on services, which ensure a strengthened protective environment in the community. MHPSS activities will be in line with the IOM Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement and include:
- Facilitating access to services and other measures to ensure social considerations and safety of beneficiaries.
- Strengthening family and community support for people who can maintain their mental health and psychosocial well-being if they receive help in accessing this level of assistance.
- Providing focused MHPSS services (individual and group counselling).
- Providing psychiatric consultations and clinical psychological consultations to people with pre-existing and/or emerging forms of severe stress, behavioural and relational problems, and mental disorders.
- Strengthening the capacity of civil society and government partners in the field of MHPSS.
- Strengthen/create referral mechanisms.
IOM Burundi has protection programs that seek to contribute to upholding the rights of migrants, displaced persons, returnees and affected populations, both in camps and out of camp locations by:
- Providing specialized case management services targeting GBV, child protection and victims of trafficking at the individual and household levels.
- Conducting protection analysis to better understand changing/emerging needs and inform programming both for protection and contributing to protection mainstreaming efforts
- Raising awareness on trafficking in persons in humanitarian context among at-risk communities and frontline service providers.
- Undertaking community engagement and sensitization on protection and GBV issues in camp and out of camp locations.
- Ensuring a robust approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA).
- Ensuring that protection is mainstreamed in all of IOM’s interventions through training of relevant IOM staff on protection mainstreaming protection principles, how to respond to the disclosure of GBV, adapting intervention design to ensure efforts address the needs of vulnerable groups and remove barriers in accessing services in a safe and dignified manner.
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
- IDPs still living in camps and support for a safe and sustainable voluntary return.
- Returnees and communities in areas of return to access basic services, livelihoods, safety and security.
- Government authorities, civil society organizations and NGOs to contribute to capacity building, facilitate community stabilization, and resume services.
The areas of return lack basic medical /health services, thus making safe and sustainable reintegration difficult and acts as a push factor for secondary displacement and forcing returnees and communities to endure long journeys to access services. In addition, there is a need to reinforce the country’s capacity to face threats of EVD and epidemics in general. To respond IOM will aim at:
- Rehabilitating/Equipping primary healthcare centres.
- Capacity-building of health professionals, including on referral mechanisms and pathways for mental health cases. This will be done in collaboration with protection/GBV actors in order to be able to update referral pathways and train staff and partners on how to safely and ethically refer GBV survivors.
- Setting-up triage and isolation zones in the health facilities located in the catchment of PoEs to limit the propagation of diseases at the border.
- Support in the identification of facilities for EVD treatment with Infection and Prevention Control (IPC) kits and support to comply with IPC minimum requirements.
- Organizing trainings on basic IPC and waste management training to the support staff of the identified health facilities.
- Collecting data and monitoring on disease prevalence to provide better analysis, including improved event-based surveillance.
- Contributing to coordination improvements of relevant health stakeholders at central and local levels through the reinforcement of relevant working groups, tools, and existing coordination mechanisms.
One of the most important drivers of conflict in Burundi are disputes over land ownership. This is made worse in areas of return where returnees are forced to compete for already scarce land resources. Burundi’s legal framework and practices restrict women’s access to land ownership. IOM will strengthen land and property tenure for the displaced population, returnees, and host community by:
- Raising awareness to returnees, displaced populations and host communities on their rights to land as well as reinforcing local land administration structures.
- Reinforcing the capacity of the Communal Land Services on due diligence, validation of property titles, mapping and communication to communicate on land rights and access to land, mapping, and validating land titles.
- Advocacy at the government and local level on the right to land for vulnerable people.
IOM will contribute to address the main barriers to safe and sustainable returns and support IDPs and returnees in achieving durable solutions in accordance with IOMs Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situations Framework. Activities will include the following:
- Improving access to safe, dignified and sustainable housing.
- Facilitating equitable access to services, through the rehabilitation of key community infrastructure, including roads, markets, electricity grids and water networks, sanitation facilities, public buildings, health centres, schools or any other project benefiting both the community and helping to resume economic activity. Capacity building on the operation and maintenance of facilities will also be added to ensure durability in the longer term.
- Increasing sustainable livelihood opportunities, including through vocational and business trainings, and support to businesses that were successful before the conflict and those which show potential for job creation.
- Strengthening reintegration services to respond to the needs of returnees, IDPs and affected communities to support recovery and stabilization approaches.
Community stabilization programming aims to prevent, mitigate, and reduce the drivers and negative effects of forced displacement and irregular migration related to natural and/or human-made crises. In order to (re)establish stability and security, prevent further forced migration, restore trust among community members, vulnerable populations and local authorities and lay the foundations for peace and durable solutions. Through various programs, IOM will:
- Strengthen government capacities for core functions and essential services.
- Promote social cohesion and enabling the communities to manage local conflicts and promote a culture of peace.
- Increase confidence in public institutions through measures to improve community safety, access to civil documentation, housing, etc.
- Increase access to a dignified living space (including shelter and WASH facilities), basic services, and social protection.
- Increase access to livelihoods through cash-for-work and vocational training.
- Strengthen capacities of state and local government partners, to promote non-violent political processes and social policy development.
IOM aims at working with border and other conflict-prone communities in the prevention and management of conflicts hence enhance social cohesion. Areas of return will equally be targeted as these are areas prone to conflicts, given the competition for scarce resources with the return of many of former Burundian refugees in their areas of return. IOM shall work with local NGOs in strengthening their capacities with regards to peacebuilding. Activities will include:
- Capacity building in peace conflict prevention and resolution.
- Security sector reform in terms of reinforcing the technical and logistics capacities of border immigration officers in addressing border/transborder crimes.
- Economic transformation (provision of income-generating activities to vulnerable groups) to mitigate conflict drivers.
- Organize community dialogue and improvement of community infrastructure.
- GoB through the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management, including national and local authorities, and community leaders to better equip them to deal with disaster management, understand risks and reduce related risks faced by Burundian populations vulnerable to disasters related to natural hazards.
- Government and non-governmental actors in their efforts to include and mainstream prevention, preparedness and mitigation, and risk reduction, and advocate for gender-sensitive approaches to disaster response.
- Vulnerable individuals, through the strengthening of health systems, to support preparedness efforts to contain potential epidemics (EVD, etc.).
IOM will work in collaboration with the national platform in putting in place activities aimed at preventing, mitigating and or reducing disaster risks. Activities will include but not limited to:
- Mapping of disaster and heath risk zones.
- Risk assessments of areas prone to flood.
- Community-based disaster risk management programs
- Capacity building of state and non-state actors on disaster risk management
- Environmental protection measures, training as well as livelihood diversification.
- Expanding disaster risk reduction efforts, to reduce exposure of vulnerable populations to disasters and DRR.
- Strengthen resilience, including mitigation works (slope stabilization, soil conservation, riverbanks fixing, riverbank erosion, rehabilitation, contour lines, drainage channels, channel repair) and rehabilitation.
IOM will support the government, including national and local authorities, civil society organizations and community leaders through trainings and technical assistance in the surveillance of diseases including Ebola, COVID and other epidemic-prone diseases. These include:
- Rehabilitation/equipping primary healthcare centres.
- Capacity building of health professionals, including referral mechanisms and pathways for mental health cases.
- Setting up triage and isolation zones in health facilities located at PoEs to limit the propagation of diseases at the border.
- Support in the identification of facilities for EVD with IPC minimum requirements.
- Organize trainings on basic IPC and waste management training to support staff of the identified health facilities.
- Collecting data and monitoring on disease prevalence to provide better analysis including event-based surveillance.
- Tracking and information management for more effective coordination.
- Pre-positioning and warehousing.
- Site planning and emergency coordination with national and international actors.
IOM Burundi is working closely with the government through the National Platform (led by the ministry of public security) on all DTM activities. IOM will make use of Population Mobility Mapping ( which provides the trends in population mobility observed during a particular period) to inform planning and preparedness for any future outbreak. IOM will work with the GoB, UN agencies (especially OCHA) as well as local Organisations ( Red Cross) and reinforce their capacity in the collection and analysis of population mobility data so that informed decision on response can be effected.
The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is a comprehensive IOM tool that is used to collect, process and disseminate regular information to provide a better understanding of the movements and needs of affected populations. The main objective of the DTM is to provide timely and accurate information (sex-disaggregated data) on displaced populations to the government authorities and crisis response partners to plan, facilitate, orient and improve assistance provided to the affected populations. The DTM tool has four components: mobility tracking, flow monitoring, registration and survey. In Burundi, IOM will:
- Track locations of IDPs and returnees, assess their intentions and barriers to return, and give an overview on the severity of conditions in areas of return, among other analyses, and provide the necessary information for recovery and crisis prevention programming.
- Activate its "Emergency Tracking” system, which provides timely data on the number of individuals displaced due to an emergency.
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.