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Christian Aid in Burundi

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.

Agriculture

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.

Health

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.

Our vision is of resilient Burundian communities living in harmony and in a secure environment, empowered to use available resources and opportunities equally to end poverty.

We want to see sustainable, resilient food production and a decline in food insecurity and malnutrition, with farmers receiving a fair market price for their produce.

We are supporting churches and faith-based organisations to bring change within communities and hold the government to account on health and HIV issues.

Further content

  • Radio Ivyizigiro brings hope: Aline was ashamed and frightened when she was first diagnosed with HIV. Now she takes part in a radio show that encourages people to talk openly about the virus

  • Reflections from Burundi: East Midlands coordinators Nick Thorley and Judi Perry on their visit

  • Teamwork brings bountiful harvests: our partner, the Anglican Church of Burundi, is working with farmers to identify the challenges they face and find solutions

  • Working with faith leaders: we work with faith leaders in Burundi to challenge discrimination against people with HIV and promote care and support.

More on our work in Burundi

Burundi Strategy 2013-17:

English, (0.4MB)

French, (0.4MB)