Burundi is recovering slowly from a civil war that lasted over a decade, claiming the lives of around 300,000 people and displacing many more.
It has remained largely peaceful since the end of the war, but it is still one of the poorest countries in the world, and its stability continues to be threatened by regional unrest and recent political tensions, most notably in spring 2015.
Christian Aid Burundi implements programmes through a range of partners, including faith-based organisations, civil society organisations and the private sector.
Most Burundians live in rural areas and are dependent on farming. Agricultural livelihoods are still recovering from the consequences of the war, and have been affected in recent years by an increasingly variable climate, making food security a real challenge for many.
Competition for farmland is high and rainfall is erratic, particularly in the north and east of the country. It is difficult for farmers who have achieved food security to move beyond this. They tend to be held back by a lack of business skills, conducive business environment and lack of community structure. Farmers need assistance to adapt to a changing climate and extract the greatest possible value from their harvest.
The civil war devastated the health sector and it is still struggling to recover because of insufficient budget and staff. Government expenditure on health is much lower than the African average.
HIV is one of the major causes of mortality and stigma surrounding the illness is high in some regions. The HIV prevalence rate is over 3% and progress continues to be hindered by traditional attitudes that stigmatise those affected.
The fight against HIV in Burundi has been effective, with the number of new infections decreasing due to huge investment from government and donors. We aim to address this imbalance and improve the quality of services provided by government and faith-based organisations.
Funding is still needed for this work, as there are concerns that services provided to people living with HIV will decline and that new infections will start to increase again.