Burundi | ActionAid UK


Why we work in Burundi

Burundi is a landlocked country in Central East Africa. One of the poorest countries in the world, Burundi is struggling to recover from a 12-year civil war, where over 300,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. 1

Since the end of the war in 2005, insecurity has persisted, with civil unrest flaring again in 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he was running for a third term. Since this time, a failed coup attempt, mass protests and a government crackdown has caused widespread violence, forcing over 250,000 people to flee to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. 2

  • 22
    Just 22% of children attend secondary school.1
  • 28
    Only 28% of the population has enough food to eat.2
  • 20
    20% of girls are married by their 18th birthday.3

Years of war and ongoing political unrest, combined with extreme poverty and recurrent natural hazards has hit Burundi’s economy hard. Hunger is widespread.

For women and girls, life is especially hard. Sexual violence, abuse and not having access to education is common. However, the situation for women is improving. Equal numbers of boys and girls now attend primary school and enrolment rates have reached an impressive 96%.

Burundi also offers free healthcare to pregnant women and children under five, an initiative which has halved infant mortality rates over the past 10 years.

How we’re changing lives for good

We work in across Burundi supporting smallholder farmers, training people with skills to earn their own income, and helping communities learn about and protect women and girls’ rights.



Top image: Gorethi Niambona, a small holder farmer from Karusi Province, Burundi. Stephen Wandera/ActionAid