Agriculture and Food Security
Since 2007, we have concentrated on raising rural incomes, diversifying economic opportunity, and identifying and strengthening competitive, commodity-based value chains that link producers to markets. With the World Bank, we helped negotiate reforms commercializing Burundi’s most lucrative value chain: coffee. Major U.S. and European companies now buy coffee directly from producers due to the policy reforms supported by USAID. In 2011, we initiated a complementary initiative to strengthen sanitary and phytosanitary controls to boost Burundi’s agricultural trade within the East African Community.
Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
We invested considerably toward developing a new national water code to help reduce pollution and rationalize water usage. To fight corruption and enhance effectiveness, we promote increased transparency and accountability for governmental and nongovernmental institutions. Our activities support civic participation and civil society organizations to act as agents for key reforms and bolster the effectiveness of participation and advocacy in democratic decision-making processes.
We launched a Development Credit Authority loan guarantee program with a local commercial bank. As a result, we have improved the ability of small and medium agricultural businesses to engage in trade. We also increased the capacity of local firms to export Burundian products through the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub.
We invest in the financial services sector to increase access to credit and launched a “business incubator” in collaboration with the Dutch Government to help provide training and support services to business start-ups, particularly those that are women-owned. Finally, to address livelihood development for youth and rural populations, we support, “Calling all Entrepreneurs,” a radio program that encourages business development.
The lack of adequate infrastructure and human resources resulting from years of conflict makes supporting the health sector a critical priority. We support programs to combat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, improve maternal and child health, and strengthen health systems. To improve health sector planning, we helped support Burundi's first Demographic and Health Survey in 23 years, which provides critical information about the population's health status.
USAID is also piloting an innovative program to stave off child malnutrition before it begins by providing nutritional supplements to pregnant and lactating women and children aged six months to two years, as well as growth monitoring and behavior change messaging about infant care and proper nutrition. Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, USAID contributes to the extension of prevention, treatment, and care to people with HIV/AIDS.
Working in Crises and Conflict
Conflict over land continues to be a sensitive and contentious issue as refugees are repatriated and the Burundian population grows. We help reinforce the capacity to deal with conflict constructively, fostering dialogue among diverse groups, and helping Burundians reconcile with their past.
Last updated: April 20, 2016