Burundi Emergency

Thousands of unaccompanied children descend on Burundi

Following ongoing clashes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 10,000 people have left South Kivu and are taking refuge in south-western Burundi. Humanity & Inclusion (which works under the operating name “Handicap International” in Burundi) is on the ground, assisting the most vulnerable, including thousands of unaccompanied children.

“We are preparing to implement protection activities targeted at the most vulnerable people, particularly children, who account for more than 65% of refugees,” explains Audrey Lecomte, HI’s Head of Mission in Burundi. “Many of them arrived without their parents and are particularly at risk from violence, exploitation, or abandonment. We want to protect girls and women by providing them with psychological support and making them aware of the risk of violence. HI needs funding to launch its emergency response.”

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“The needs of refugees in transitional camps are considerable. These camps are designed to provide very temporary accommodation and are now operating beyond full capacity. Access to services such as health care and aid remains extremely limited given the needs of these refugees.

“Many people without shelter sleep grouped together in hangars. The shortage of water and sanitary facilities, such as toilets, has increased the risk of a cholera epidemic. The most vulnerable people including children, women, older people, and people with disabilities are particularly at risk. We’re expecting to see a new influx of refugees in the weeks ahead.”

Our work in Burundi

Present in Burundi since 1992, HI helps ensure people with disabilities have access to basic services and rehabilitation and are involved in their social and economic environments. Learn more about our work in Burundi.