Burundi Crisis Response Plan 2024-2026

Last updated: January 23 2024
Funding required
People Targeted

IOM Vision

In partnership with the Government of Burundi and other partners, IOM addresses immediate humanitarian needs while ensuring long-term actions to build resilience and foster sustainable peace and development among crisis-affected populations in Burundi, including vulnerable migrants and returnees. IOM provides life-saving humanitarian assistance, primary healthcare, and development-oriented interventions, while also supporting the government to identify opportunities for the progressive and durable resolution of displacement and returnee situations. IOM also builds the Burundian population’s resilience to recurrent shocks, mostly induced by climate change, which are increasing in intensity and frequency.

Key Operating Modalities
Participation and empowerment Conflict sensitivity Integrated Programming Collaboration and partnership Cash-based interventions
Cross-cutting priorities
Data and evidence Protection Mainstreaming Gender Equality Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse Disaster Risk Climate Change

Objective 1 - Saving lives and protecting people on the move
Saving lives and protecting people on the move

Funding required
People Targeted
Entities Targeted
Internal migrant, Internally displaced person, International migrant, Local population / community, Refugee
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted

In support of the Government of Burundi, IOM will continue to provide support to communities affected by humanitarian crises in the country to help cope with natural hazard impacts and address related mobility challenges with returnees and IDPs in the country. People targeted include: 

  • Repatriated returnees from the United Republic of Tanzania and neighboring countries, returning empty-handed, finding shelters and other properties destroyed, and in need of basic assistance and protection.
  • Local population/community in areas of displacement and communities of return where services are inadequate or overstretched.
  • IDPs and vulnerable persons who have been affected by disasters and who remain in displacement in precarious situations.
  • Among the IDP and returnee communities, vulnerable persons, survivors of gender-based violence and potential victims of human trafficking, in need of individual assistance.
  • Persons with disabilities living in areas of displacement and communities of return where services are inadequate for their needs.
  • Vulnerable families living in sites and areas of return.
  • People on the move passing through formal or informal PoEs, who are either in need of humanitarian assistance or at high risk of transmission of diseases of epidemic potential.

IOM Burundi through its Mobility Tracking and Emergency Event Tracking systems and Flow Monitoring will continue providing the Government of Burundi and Burundi’s humanitarian and development community with evidence-based quantitative and qualitative data and analysis in order to provide informed humanitarian responses based on data collected. In addition, in collaboration with the sectoral partners and in coordination with the government, IOM assesses risk and exposure to natural hazards across populations (IDPs/ returnees) and vulnerability categories. This strategy allows the high appropriation and relevance of the findings to eventually ensure their utility and use. 

Specifically, under this objective, IOM will collaborate/coordinate with these partners to will build an evidence base for humanitarian and recovery actors (OCHA, UNDP, etc.), and households (local communities) exposed to disasters: 

  • The National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management, led by the Ministry of Public Security, a close partner of IOM Burundi on all DTM activities.
  • The Ministry of Environment.
  • The Red Cross and local authorities.

Finally, IOM will support the Government of Burundi, at both the national and local levels, other national and international partners, and communities to strengthen disaster preparedness. 


IOM Burundi will ensure that protection principles are mainstreamed across all interventions to avoid causing harm and guarantee meaningful access to assistance for all the persons in need. IOM will also continue to support the government. Activities will include: 

  • Provision of individual protection assistance and case management, to vulnerable populations and victims of trafficking (VoTs) in crisis contexts. 
  • Community engagement and sensitization in emergency settings, camps, and out-of-camp locations. 
  • Establishment of safe areas/tents for at-risk/vulnerable groups including children and women; women safe spaces and child-friendly spaces. The activity will include as well specialized support to community-based protection focal points who will provide listening and referral services as well as recreational activities. 
  • Capacity-building of IOM and implementing partners’ (IP) staff on immediate protection risk response. 
  • Coordinating with protection sector partners and GBV partners on cases of trafficking in persons (TIP), GBV and other vulnerabilities to ensure access to justice, health, MHPSS, and other relevant services. 
  • Training of protection and counter-trafficking (CT) actors, community and shelter authorities, police, judiciary, and magistrates, on CT SOPs, ethical and safe ways of managing and referring disclosures of GBV incidents, etc. 
Funding required
Plan types

Shelter and settlements

To respond to the SNFI needs of communities affected by humanitarian crises in the country, IOM will provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable IDPs and returnees. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable people. Depending on the context, the assistance will be in-kind or in cash. Activities will include: 

  • Provision of safe and dignified shelter solutions such as emergency shelters, semi-permanent shelters, and shelter repair kits to the targeted households. 
  • Shelter damage assessments linked to small scale infrastructure investments to better insulate homes from damage during hazard events- for example construction of water channels, sewer canals, landslides break and nature-based solutions such as reforestation and slope solidification work through planting vetiver grass for instance.
  • Provision of shelter NFI kits, in-kind or in cash to newly displaced persons and persons in protracted displacement situations, according to needs and context assessments.
  • Provision of rental support (with cash that can help them pay accommodation for three months) for households affected by natural hazards, and relevant rental agreement support.
  • Provision of shelter repair kits to households who own their dwelling. 
  • Provision of SNFI assistance to be supplemented with awareness-raising activities.
  • Provision of emergency assistance to vulnerable families living in poor quality shelters in informal sites and areas of return, through in-kind or cash transfers supplemented by NFI kits.
  • Coordination of the SNFI sector.
Funding required
Plan types

Direct health support

IOM will work with the Ministry of Public Health, to raise awareness among decision-makers at the central and intermediate health system levels about the need to integrate migrant health into existing health care delivery mechanisms. IOM will also establish partnerships with health facilities located close to the points of entry most frequented by travellers and strengthen their capacity to offer migrant centred health care. 
Activities will include:

  • Training health and non-health staff in the provision of healthcare adapted to migrants’ needs.  
  • Provision of medical consultations for common diseases in an emergency
  • Training of healthcare staff in risk communication, and community engagement (RCCE) for mobile populations.
  • Organization of cross-border coordination meetings with neighbouring countries.
  • Referral of health cases for further management. 
  • Community based surveillance focusing on mobile populations.
Funding required
Plan types

Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian response

IOM will work closely with government counterparts, civil society, and key health partners to strengthen the capacity of relevant mental health and psychosocial support service providers to serve crisis-affected populations, including vulnerable migrants. The following activities will be implemented:

  • Training of community leaders including community health workers and nurses located in the targeted provinces on psychological first aid, basic psychosocial skills.
  • Provision of mental health and psychosocial support such as individual and group counselling for returnees, their families and vulnerable host communities in situations of psychological distress. 
  • Carrying out individual psychosocial support for specific cases including, but not limited to, VoT and GBV survivors.
  • Referral of people with mental health conditions to specialized mental health care facilities.
Funding required
Plan types

Camp coordination and camp management

IOM will provide site management support to the Government of Burundi in the
Bujumbura area and along the southern coastal region of Rumonge. Activities will include:

  • Co-coordination of the CCCM task force at the country level along with the Ministry of Solidary and UNHCR to facilitate timely and appropriate service delivery to IDPs.
  • Improving living conditions in the sites through site maintenance and hygiene promotion. 
  • Working alongside the Government of Burundi in the event of IDP site closures to ensure that the closure is done according to the Camp Management Minimum Standards, Exit and Closure pillar  
  • Promotion of community participation, information dissemination for risk mitigation and community engagement mechanisms to ensure accountability to affected populations in the sites.
  • Capacity-building of government actors on CCCM and promotion of well-planned and dignified site consolidation and closing processes, and respect for IDPs' right of movement, including voluntary return.
Funding required
Plan types

Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies

IOM will support IDPs, returnees and host communities to improve safe and dignified living conditions through safe water supply, sanitation, and hygiene promotion activities. IOM will work to reduce the risk of water-related diseases by improving hygiene behaviours and WASH services in line with Sphere Standards, through the following activities:

  • Provision of hygiene kits including household water treatment products and menstrual hygiene management (MHM) items for girls and women of reproductive age.
  • Provision of displaced people and returnees with dignified sanitary solutions through cash for work for the construction of ecological or ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines adapted to their needs (including latrines adapted for people with disabilities) and equipped with hand-washing systems. This activity is complementary to the provision of shelters.
  • Promotion of improved hygiene practices among assisted households and communities through targeted awareness-raising on topics such as handwashing, low-cost household waste and wastewater management solutions, latrine maintenance and community clean-up campaigns.
Funding required
Plan types

Displacement tracking

IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix is a system to monitor population displacement and estimate mobile people's needs to inform decision-makers and support the delivery of an appropriate response. In Burundi, DTM has been active since 2015, providing data for action to the humanitarian community about new displacement dynamics and trends. As per DTM’s methodological framework, activities will include:

  • Maintenance of national coverage of Mobility Tracking assessments (DTM’s multi-sectoral location assessments) to provide, in defined locations, an estimate of the number and profile of IDPs and returnees, as well as an overview of their needs and living conditions on a regular basis. This will allow DTM to support advocacy, humanitarian response, and early recovery and crisis prevention programmes.
  • "Emergency Tracking” providing humanitarian and governmental actors with real-time data on the number and needs of individuals displaced due to recent shocks (such as disaster damages).
  • Return intention surveys allowing the relevant actors to propose interventions more in line with the needs and future intentions of the displaced people/ returnees.
  • Carrying out data collection at five Flow Monitoring Points (FMPs) to monitor trends and movements of the population with unvaccinated children, both travelling to, through, and from Burundi, as well as to and from neighbouring countries.

As part of its community stabilization portfolio, IOM also uses the Stability Index tool to measure stability in displaced communities and communities of return and inform related programming.

Funding required
Plan types

Emergency preparedness

IOM will support the Government of Burundi through trainings and technical assistance to better equip them to include emergency preparedness and response plans to address future displacements whether due to conflicts or natural hazards. IOM will also improve the existing disaster preparedness and response capacities at the national and local levels to identify resilience-related issues and develop practical solutions to reduce disaster risks in the country more easily. Activities will include:

  • Tracking and information management for more effective coordination.
  • Support logistics and warehousing.
  • Site planning and emergency coordination with national and international actors. 
  • Support the development of community-based emergency preparedness plans.
  • Development of minimum preparedness actions such as multi-hazards early warning systems to facilitate community-based early actions aiming at minimizing the impacts of imminent disasters.
  • Development of emergency family plans to guide actions before, during and after a disaster event in coordination with the BRC.
Funding required
Plan types
IOM supports ravine stabilization work in Bujumbura province © Triffin Ntore/IOM Burundi 2022
IOM supports ravine stabilization work in Bujumbura province © Triffin Ntore/IOM Burundi 2022

Objective 2 - Driving solutions to displacement
Driving solutions to displacement

Funding required
People Targeted
Entities Targeted
Former combatant / fighter, Internal migrant, Internally displaced person, International migrant, Local population / community, Refugee
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted

IOM is committed to enhancing the absorption capacity and resilience of communities in Burundi, with a strong emphasis on rolling out the Stability Index to measure stability in displaced communities and communities of return. Within the framework of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus (HPDN), IOM will target specific vulnerable groups and collaborate closely with local entities for effective implementation of evidence-based programming. IOM’s target populations for 2024 consist of:

  • Returnees.
  • Internally displaced persons (IDPs).
  • Members of host communities.
  • Extremely vulnerable individuals, which encompasses women, youth, and other at-risk groups.

Use of the Stability Index (SI) plays a pivotal role in IOM’s approach, allowing the Organization to analyze and evaluate the province's stability. This measurement serves as a guiding tool for interventions, enabling IOM to identify high-risk areas and prioritize actions to enhance stability.

To achieve these objectives, IOM will target and forge partnerships with various entities, including:

  • Local administrations to ensure the effective implementation of the HPDN approach.
  • Civil society organizations, which will help promote an integrated perspective for activities.
  • The Ministries of Solidarity and Interior, facilitating the integration of humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding aspects.
  • UN agencies would contribute technical expertise, financial resources, and broader coordination mechanisms
  • NGOs would focus on on-the-ground coordination, delivering humanitarian services, and building local capacities.

IOM also proposes to continue strengthening the capacities of Burundi’s authorities and civil society to prepare for, respond to and recover from crises and recurrent shocks while securing development gains. In addition, IOM will also support the Government and non-governmental actors in their efforts to include and mainstream preparedness and disaster risk reduction. This will contribute to effectively bridge the gap between humanitarian and development interventions, using a nexus approach. Under this component, IOM will target:

  • National, provincial, and local disaster response authorities.
  • Displaced and local communities.
  • Community-based organizations (CBOs) at the national and local levels.
  • The National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management.
  • The Ministry of National Solidarity, Repatriation, National Reconstruction, Human Rights and Gender.

Community stabilization

IOM Burundi will implement community stabilization activities aimed at enhancing stability and promoting durable solutions, strengthening social cohesion and recovery by bringing together returnees, IDPs and members of the host community. Activities will include:

  • Social cohesion activities, such as theatre performances, sports, relays, and dances, conducted by bringing together all layers of the communities – returnees, IDPs, and host community members, thereby strengthening relationships between different social groups during several weeks of training concluded with a performance in front of the whole community and the local authorities. 
  • Community meetings: discussions uniting communities and giving an inclusive platform to discuss conflict resolution, challenges, needs, and identification of community-led projects and beneficiaries of livelihoods activities.
  • Stakeholder engagement and information-sharing to (i) establish a collaborative framework and information-sharing mechanisms with key stakeholders, and (ii) collaborate in defining indicators and benchmarks for assessing stability and tracking progress, ensuring alignment with local needs.
  • Training on the methodology for implementing Stability Index (SI) and durable solutions (DS) evaluation tools to equip government representatives with the knowledge and skills needed to actively participate in the assessment process, contribute to data collection, and support policy and programme development.  These activities refer to project code DP.2697 
  • Implementation of quick impact projects that reinforce social cohesion between returnees and host community’s members while allowing access to financial resources to respond to basic family needs.
Funding required
Plan types

Livelihoods and economic recovery

IOM Burundi will implement activities to improve livelihoods and economic recovery, while strengthening social cohesion by engaging returnees, IDPs and members of the host community in a common cause for collective gains. Activities include:

  • Cash-for-work activities (CfW): involving all sections of society in a common cause (e.g., rehabilitation of local schools, markets, or communal latrines; cleaning rainwater drainage channels, etc.), for collective interests, providing livelihoods opportunities for 15-30 days to the most vulnerable people.
  • Income-generating activities (IGA): small grants given to the most vulnerable people coupled with capacity-building and training to start an IGA, usually forming village saving loans associations (VSLAs, a group of 8-12 people, saving together and sharing benefits), thereby strengthening economic opportunities and social cohesion.
Funding required
Plan types

Peacebuilding and peace preservation

IOM Burundi will implement activities aimed at preserving peace, by facilitating the reintegration of marginalized groups, such as ex-combatants, returnees, and Batwas (who are considered a marginalized group in Burundi), and reinforcing social cohesion by bringing together all these categories and the host community. IOM will therefore focus on: 

  • Carrying out disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities aimed at reinforcing the inclusion of ex-combatants in local communities. 
  • Implementation of cross-border projects aimed at strengthening border areas both economically and socially, in collaboration with IOM offices and other UN entities in neighbouring countries.

Although peacebuilding is a separate activity area, these activities are structured in line with the above-mentioned initiatives of community stabilization.

Funding required
Plan types

Health system strengthening

IOM’s support intends to address the impact of crises resulting in the displacement of people by strengthening the limited capacity of Burundi’s health system. New technologies will be utilized to improve disease surveillance by delocalizing emergency operators in cross-border health districts. Activities will include:

  • Support to up to five emergency operation centres in cross-border provinces with the provision of information technology equipment, and other logistical support for early detection and response to diseases with epidemic potentials.
  • Advanced training for Burundian health authorities and other relevant partners in public health emergency management, with cross-border emergency response simulations and exercises.
  • Rehabilitation of PoEs to comply with infection, prevention, and control (IPC) standards.
  • Provision of monthly basic equipment to PoEs to meet the standards of prevention and control of infections. 
  • Training and equipment for community health workers of cross-border health districts to effectively engage in community event-based surveillance (CEBS).
  • Provision of essential medical equipment and supplies to strengthen the capacity of health facilities to provide healthcare adapted to migrants.

IOM will also support the government to prepare to respond to public health threats, especially diseases with epidemic potential (EVD and COVID-19) in natural hazard-prone areas. In cross-border areas, IOM will strengthen the health districts’ capacity for preparedness and readiness to respond to potential epidemics with the following activities:

  • Support to health districts to develop contingency plans to respond to public health threats.
  • Organize trainings for health workers to respond to the health consequences of natural hazards.
  • Prepositioning of medical supplies to support outbreak response. 
  • Supporting health facilities with equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to strengthen their capacity to respond quickly to public health threats resulting from natural hazards.
  • Conduct of population mobility mapping (PMM) focusing on internal and cross-border population mobility and flows and link the results to public health risks to inform planning.
Funding required
Plan types

Mental health and psychosocial support in transition and recovery

IOM will implement MHPSS activities and support at the individual, family and community levels, contributing to the government of Burundi’s efforts to encourage social cohesion and peaceful cohabitation. The following activities will be implemented:

  • Implementation of community-based psychosocial support aiming at promoting social cohesion and peaceful interventions, including recreative and socio-relational and cultural activities based on existing practices in the targeted communities.
  • Support to capacity-building of health professionals, community health workers, and community leaders on mental health issues and in developing skills such as psychological first aid (PFA), basic MHPSS concepts, stress management, and supportive communication.
  • Design and conduct of trainings on the integration of MHPSS in livelihoods and development programmes, based on IOM's Manual on Community-based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement and IOM’s MHPSS Livelihood Integration (MLI) manual.

IOM Burundi will support the Ministry of Public Health in revitalizing the Mental Health Working Group by organizing coordination meetings bringing together all the actors in the mental health sector to harmonize the intervention approach to avoid duplication. In addition, IOM will work closely with the Ministries of Health and of Solidarity to advocate for the integration of mental health in the primary health care system and organize capacity-building for health personnel and equip the health facilities. Activities will include:

  • Provision of psychosocial support for returnees, and vulnerable host communities in situations of psychological distress. 
  • Carrying out individual psychosocial support for specific cases including VoT and GBV survivors.
  • Referral of people with mental disorders to mental health care facilities. 
  • Co-organization of the work of the MHPSS Technical Working Group with the Ministry of Public Health.
  • Provision of training to improve staff at Points of Entries' (PoE) capacity to provide mental health and psychosocial support to travellers who test positive for diseases with epidemic potential.
  • Training and provision of refresher training to nurses and general practitioners on mental health issues and how to recognize and address them.
  • Support the supervision sessions regularly organized by the MoH to evaluate the progress of integration.
Funding required
Plan types

Land and property

IOM’s Housing Land and Property (HLP) programming aims to strengthen access to land for displaced persons, returnees, and other vulnerable groups. To achieve this, activities will include: 

  • Material and technical support for communal land services in charge of land registration and conservation of land documents, including IT, office equipment and consumables, motorcycles for transporting staff to the field, land measurement equipment, etc.
  • Capacity-building for communal land service staff.
  • Capacity-building for administrative staff and community leaders on the importance and procedures of land certification. 
  • Campaigns to disseminate existing legal texts to enable the community conflict management bodies to carry out their tasks in compliance with the law.
  • Community-based awareness-raising sessions to inform community members of their rights in terms of access to land and land certification. 
  • Support for the land certification of the most vulnerable and improving document conservation through the digitization of land services to facilitate the collection, use and conservation of land data.
Funding required
Plan types

Adaptation and disaster risk reduction

IOM works with the GoB to identify, assess, and reduce the risk of disasters, thereby reducing the socioeconomic vulnerabilities that they may cause as well as dealing with environmental and other hazards that trigger them. Through its disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management programme, IOM aims to support the Government of Burundi to prepare for, respond to, and reduce the risks faced by the Burundian population to potential disasters in the future through: 

  • Implementation of community-based disaster risk management activities.
  • Implementation of disaster mitigation activities in the most at-risk areas based on the results of the multi-hazard risk assessment and mapping exercise.
  • Support for community-based mapping of the most disaster risk zones.
  • Support national authorities in the development of evacuation and relocation plans in the most disaster-prone communities.
  • Support the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management in the implementation of disaster risk reduction action plans for 2022-2025.
Funding required
Plan types
Operational presence in


International staff and affiliated work force
National staff and affiliated work force
IOM field office

The map used here is for illustration purposes only. Names and boundaries do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by IOM.

Figures are as of 31 December 2023. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.