Skip to main content

Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Publication | 2021

Burundi: Acute Food Insecurity Situation June - September 2021 and Projections for October - December 2021 and January - March 2022

How Many and When? The current analysis period of June to September 2021 coincides with the harvest and post-harvest period marked by relatively good food availability: for this period, over 1 million people (9% of the analysed population) are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), while over 4 million people (34%) are classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and over 6.6 million people (57% of the analysed population) are food secure (IPC Phase 1). During the two projection periods, the population that is highly food insecure in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely increase to over 1.44 million people (12% of the analysed population) in the first projection period (October-December 2021: lean season) before falling back to just over 1 million people (9%) in the second projection period (January-March 2022), which covers the harvest period of the 2022A season.

Where and Who? The current analysis has classified all Livelihood Zones (LZs) in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, there are some isolated pockets that are heavily affected by recurrent flooding as a result of rising water levels on the Lake Tanganyika coastline, but this does not influence the classification of the whole area: this is the case for the Plaine de l’Imbo livelihood zone. People in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are mainly those affected by the floods and landslides in the west, those affected by the after-effects of the water shortage during the first cropping season, those who have recently returned to their areas of origin and have not yet recovered their livelihoods, and those with fragile livelihoods now affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), the livelihood zones of the Northern Depressions, Eastern Depressions, Wet and Dry Plateaux continue to record higher proportions of populations in Crisis compared to the other zones.

Why? Recurrent climatic hazards, displacement, intense repatriation and the COVID-19 pandemic in a context of low population resilience are the main factors behind the food insecurity identified by this analysis. The analysis shows that low resilience linked to structural problems of poverty and lack of access to solid and diversified livelihoods is a major contributor to the food insecurity experienced by the majority of affected households. The main recent shocks are the persistent floods (rising water levels in Lake Tanganyika and flooding of rivers) that have occurred along the Lake Tanganyika coastline - now under humanitarian assistance (from Gatumba in the north through Rumonge to Nyanza Lac in the south) - since the end of 2020, leading to the displacement and loss of livelihoods of thousands of households. The after-effects of the water shortage that occurred in part of the northern lowlands during the 2021A season, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activities, particularly in areas sharing borders with neighbouring countries, combined with the pressure of returnees, are also factors determining food insecurity in some areas.