With 64% of inhabitants living below the poverty line of $ 1.90 / day and a per capita GDP of $ 271 / year (World Bank), Burundi is one of the poorest countries on the planet. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. In 2020, it has around 11.8 million inhabitants, two thirds of whom are under the age of 24. Life expectancy is only 66 years and over 90% of the population works in the agricultural sector, mainly subsistence farming.
Burundi depends extensively on international aid. This represented a third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013 according to the World Bank.
Oxfam in Burundi
Oxfam has been working in Burundi since the 1990s. At the beginning, we mainly carried out humanitarian interventions, but our action gradually focused on reconstruction and development. As it stands, Oxfam in Burundi works on three strategic areas of intervention: Sustainable Food, Active Citizenship and Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian Response. We attach particular importance to our rights-based approach in all of our projects. We work to promote true gender justice and we work with all citizens so that they are aware of their rights and duties.
Oxfam works in 14 of Burundi’s 18 Provinces: Bubanza, Bujumbura, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muyinga, Ngozi, Rumonge, Rutana and Ruyigi.
Our “Sustainable Food” interventions
Three projects are part of this intervention: 1) Resilience and fight against climate change; 2) Agricultural advocacy and 3) Agroecology.
Our actions are carried out in collaboration with our national partners: ADISCO (Support to Integral Development and Solidarity in the Hills), CAFOB (Collective of Women's Associations and NGOs in Burundi), INADES Formation (National Institute for Economic and Social Development), FOPABU (Forum of Organizations of Agricultural Producers in Burundi) and OAP (Organization in Support for Self-Promotion).
Oxfam is working to strengthen agricultural production to reduce food insecurity, by promoting the self-promotion of farming households and the development - especially among women and young people - of sustainable and environmentally friendly value chains. We are particularly committed to promoting women’s rights in all productive sectors, to enable them to: 1) exercise transformative leadership 2) gain access to land 3) have a say in the implementation of rural and agriculture development policies.
Our “Active Citizenship” interventions
This intervention is built on three components: 1) Good Governance; 2) Social Cohesion and 3) Tax Justice.
Our actions are carried out in collaboration with our national partners: ERB (Empowering Response Burundi), MIPAREC (Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation), OAG (Observatory of Government Action) and OAP.
The objectives of this intervention are multiple. First of all, social cohesion is fostered through a project which addresses - in an inclusive manner from the point of view of "gender and young people" - the three most important and deep-rooted causes of instability and violence in the past and of the present.
First, Oxfam seeks to promote social cohesion and collaboration between citizens and the authorities through innovative strategies. This, to guarantee peace and security and to strengthen young people to follow non-violent patterns, having access to and adopt means of nonviolent sustenance.
In addition, Oxfam works to increase the autonomy of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Burundi. It works to improve their relations with the authorities and make local authorities more accountable to citizens, thereby contributing to the country’s good governance.
Finally, the program works on the fair use of tax revenues collected by local authorities and on gender-sensitive public budgeting.
Our focus on Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian
Oxfam intervenes directly in the event of a humanitarian crisis, as in the recent case of the response to Covid-19. In addition to our intervention in the event of a crisis, we focus our action on response and mitigation of natural and man-made disasters. We as well work on their prevention, through land management interventions and improving the population’s resilience. We work in 11 Provinces at the grassroots level - from the commune to the hill - in close collaboration with the public authorities in charge of disaster management and the Burundian Red Cross.
Our cross-cutting rights-based approach
We strive to strengthen the critical awareness of citizens regarding human rights, peace, social justice and the accountability of institutions and businesses to the public. To do this, we help them to better understand their rights and duties and we also give them the means to act.
Women are at the heart of everything we do and we are fighting for real gender justice.