Burundi

Country History

A small landlocked country plagued by corruption and prolonged conflict between rival Tutsi and Hutu tribes, Burundi is among the world’s poorest countries. An estimated 67% of Burundi’s population lives in poverty. Burundi was ruled for centuries by a Tutsi-dominated monarchy before it fell first under German colonial control in the early 1900s and then to Belgian colonial control after World War I. Divisive colonial policies eventually led to Burundi’s administrative division from neighboring Rwanda and independence followed in 1962. An estimated one quarter of a million people died in Tutsi-Hutu violence during the first three decades of Burundi’s freedom. The violence escalated in the 1990s, driven in part by the 1994 genocide of Tutsi tribe members in neighboring Rwanda. Burundi has struggled to rebuild in the ensuing fragile peace.

Response

International Medical Corps has worked in Burundi since 1995 and currently operates a variety of nutrition interventions.

QUICK FACTS

  • Population

    Population
    10.8 Million

  • age

    Median Age
    17 Years

  • life

    Life Expectancy
    54 Years

  • life

    Internally Displaced Persons
    79,948

  • life

    Refugees
    52,936 (residing in Burundi)

  • life

    Fertility Rate
    6.14 children per mother

  • Infant Mortality Rate

    Infant Mortality Rate
    63.44 deaths/1000 live births

  • Infant Mortality Rate

    HIV/AIDS rate
    1.3%

OUR PROGRAMS IN BURUNDI

  • Population

    Nutrition


CURRENT PROGRAMS

Nutrition

Political insecurity has exacerbated the already high malnutrition rates, making Burundi the African country with the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in children under 5, especially among children aged 6 to 23 months. Post-election violence, scarce rainfall, donor fatigue, low involvement by the Ministry of Health and the growing population all contribute to the high malnutrition levels. Additionally, over 128,000 people are reliant on food assistance and food prices are extremely high in some areas.

International Medical Corps operates a variety of nutrition programs in Burundi. Working with the Ministry of Health, we train local staff to help us provide a mix of supplemental and therapeutic feeding programs for several thousand undernourished and malnourished children. A second program takes a preventative approach. We focus on keeping children under the age of two healthy by training mothers and then sending them into the broader community to teach healthy nutrition practices to their peers. The Mother Care Group approach, which employs local women, is especially effective because it focuses on behavior change and peer-to-peer communication aimed at stopping malnutrition before it takes hold.

RESOURCES

Burundi Capabilities Statement

Read More

SUPPORT OUR WORK

For 30 years, International Medical Corps has worked to relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease by delivering vital health care services that focus on training, helping devastated populations return to self-reliance.

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