Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Burundi

Map of Burundi

August 15, 2017

Food Security Situation

  • In Burundi, ongoing political unrest has displaced hundreds of thousands of people both within the country and into neighboring nations, including Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Uganda. As of July 2017, nearly 419,000 Burundians had fled as refugees, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In addition, the International Organization for Migration has estimated that nearly 210,000 Burundians are internally displaced. Burundi also hosts approximately 61,000 refugees from DRC, UNHCR reports.
  • An unstable economic situation is undermining food security in Burundi. According to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), intermittent fuel shortages are increasing transportation costs and limiting the movement of food and goods into areas where they are needed. Furthermore, staple food prices are above the five-year average, diminishing households’ access to food.

  • FEWS NET reports that Season B crop production—which is harvested between June and August and is normally responsible for half of the year’s yields—was average to above-average across most of the nation, and food availability has increased across Burundi. Most poor households will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity as the September lean season approaches, although favorable conditions will likely allow some poor households to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity.* At the height of the lean season in November, when household food stores are almost empty, the number of poor households experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity will likely grow in some areas of Burundi, including Bubanza, Cibitoke, Kirundo, and Muyinga provinces.  

Food Assistance Programs

  • With support from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP), the UN World Food Program (WFP) targets more than 1.4 million food-insecure individuals—including vulnerable, food-insecure Burundians and Congolese refugees—in Cankuzo, Kirundo, Bujumbura Rural, Ngozi, Rutana, and Gitega provinces with emergency food assistance. FFP’s contributions to WFP, which include U.S. in-kind food, vouchers, and locally and regionally purchased food, reinforce general food distributions, food-for-assets activities, and targeted supplementary feeding for children under age 2 and pregnant and lactating women. 

  • FFP support also enables the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat severe acute malnutrition in children under age 5.

  • In Muyinga Province, FFP supports a development program led by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) that aims to improve the nutritional status of children.  CRS seeks to prevent chronic malnutrition in children under age 5, strengthen community-level systems for health and nutrition, foster positive behavior change, and increase regular access to nutritious food

Food for Peace Contributions

    Total Contributions:

      U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
    Fiscal Year 2017 $14.5 million 13,874 MT
    Fiscal Year 2016 $17.8 million 6,942 MT
    Fiscal Year 2015 $23.7 million 6,590 MT

    *The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5).

    Country Specific Guidance:

    Additional Resources from FY 2010:

    Last updated: August 15, 2017

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