Economic challenges for rural poor
Burundi continues to recover from the impact of the 2015 civil unrest, but the situation is currently stable. People who fled to Tanzania are returning to Burundi and need assistance. Challenges linked to this situation include land shortage and lack of access to education, health service, food, and water.
Burundi is at the bottom of the United Nations Development Programme’s human development index and is considered one of the poorest countries in the world. The country is one of the most densely populated in Africa, with one of the highest population growth rates globally at over 3.5 percent per year. People face significant land shortages, which severely threaten a rural population that relies on subsistence agriculture for survival.
Present in Burundi since 2006, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is responding to the humanitarian crisis in the country. It supports Internally Displaced People (IDPs), local communities, and returnees while promoting the integration of vulnerable people and the empowerment of youth in the provinces of Cankuzo and Ruyigi near the Tanzanian border. In 2021, the program supported more than 19,000 people through livelihoods, child protection, education, Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation (WASH) projects, and health and social cohesion. The country program also responded to the COVID-19 crisis through various activities.
On Mishiha hill in Cankuzo province, LWF Burundi, with Canadian Food Grains Bank and Canadian Lutheran World Relief, launched ten micro-projects benefiting 4,500 people. Emmanuel Ndamurokore, LWF food security specialist, explains: “everyone is participating in building the strength of the community. Internally displaced persons, returnees and even the most vulnerable groups see the importance of their contribution. Together, they analyze priorities and decide which micro-projects to implement.”
What we do in Burundi
Partners and donors
- ACT (Action of Churches Together) Church of Sweden
- Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS)
- Canadian Foodgrains Bank
- Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Photo: LWF/L. Gillabert