Burundi is an East African country with an area of 27 800 km² and a population of 7.8 million. In 2005, after 12 years of crisis, it created new institutions, but the democracy-building process is fragile. More than 90% of the country's population depends on agriculture (mainly cash crops and livestock), which accounts for over 50% of GDP. With 68% of the population living below the poverty line, per capita GDP is among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa. Burundi needs support in this transition period to help it reduce poverty and return to sustainable development.
The Country Strategy Paper for Burundi (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for cooperation between the European Commission (EC) and Burundi under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). EC assistance will concentrates on three fields: infrastructures, rural rehabilitation and development, health and general budget support. EC support contributes to road building and rural development. It will also support a national-scale health policy pilot project.
Additional aid will be granted for action on governance, support for non-state actors and to strengthen institutions.
The multi-annual indicative programme for Burundi under the 10th EDF amounts to €188 million ('A' envelope) to address these priorities. Additional € 18 million have been allocated to fight against food and nutrition insecurity in the framework of the MDG initiative.
Cross-cutting issues like gender, the environment and building capacity are integrated into all EU assistance in Burundi.
Burundi is emerging from conflict, so cooperation has been difficult. Even though all funds from the 9th EDF are now fully committed, the most important projects were not launched until 2007 (budget support aside).
The Country Strategy Paper for Burundi (2003-2007) focused on rural rehabilitation and development, good governance, infrastructure and health under 9th EDF funding.
In Burundi, a rehabilitation project has been put into place, which focuses primarily on rebuilding social and health infrastructures, classrooms, drinking water supplies, etc., and strengthening the national peace and reconciliation process, essential for creating the conditions for economic recovery.