Burundi is listed as one of the poorest countries in the world according to the United Nations. Its economic and social development has been affected by the consequences of civil disorders erupting between 1993 and 2005 making Burundi a fragile state from the Great Lakes region.

The country faces in particular a strong demographic growth (2.9%), a very high population density (~360 inhab/ km²) and a very low growth domestic product (GDP) per capita. More than 90% of Burundi’s population depends on agriculture which contributes for 35% to the GDP and is mainly based on subsistence farming.

Furthermore, since the beginning of 2015, the country is gripped by a political crisis with security implications directly impacting the progress made since 2005. Since direct support to the Burundi government and institutions were temporarily suspended in March 2016, the European Union chose to redirect a part of its aid to activities directly benefitting local population and civil society. In addition, the EU still finances ongoing activities but also initiates new development operations with the communities concerned and supports humanitarian and emergency actions for the fight against poverty and for access to basic services.

The National Indicative Programme  (NIP) 2014 – 2020 under the 11thEuropean Development Fund has set aside €432 million for Burundi and outlined among the main focal sectors of the EU cooperation with the country:

  • Support for Sustainable Rural Development for Nutrition;

  • Health;

  • Energy.


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