Map and flag Burundi

Country profile HDI (UNDP): http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/BDI

Burundi has been a partner country of Belgium since gaining its independence in 1962. The partnership was interrupted only in the 1990s by an embargo enforced by the international community. Belgium’s annual development budget for Burundi fluctuates around €45 million which largely consists of bilateral cooperation (around 30 million in 2011).

Agriculture is an important part of daily life, covering 95% of food needs and employing almost 90% of the active population. However, agricultural development has been impeded by low productivity, the parcelling of land, limited knowledge of water management and problems with processing and preserving produce. Two major challenges in the domains of education and healthcare are the overloading of institutions and the lack of competent staff.

In 2009, the Belgian and Burundian authorities concluded an Indicative Cooperation Programme for 2010 to 2013. Belgian Development Cooperation has earmarked €150 million for this period. As of 2010, Belgium is focusing its efforts on three sectors: healthcare, education and agriculture. In general, Belgian aid to Burundi is geared towards:

  • promoting a favourable institutional environment;
  • improving sectoral governance;
  • developing capacity and training staff;
  • participating in the sector’s funding via a sectoral funding tool.

In addition to the focal sectors, Belgian bilateral cooperation also operates in the areas of justice, the police, infrastructure (urban road system), good governance and public contracts. As regards delegated bilateral cooperation, Belgium is active primarily in decentralisation, gender (UNIFEM - UNFPA) and regional cooperation (Trademark East Africa). The cross-cutting themes of our cooperation are good governance, gender equality, respect for the rights of the child, sustainable development and the environment.

An Incentive Tranche (IT) of €50 million was also released following the Belgium-Burundi Partners' Committee meeting of 1 June 2012. This tranche was conditional primarily on the start of the implementation of the National Strategy for Good Governance and Corruption Reduction. The IT is divided between the three focal sectors as well as between the police, justice, infrastructure, governance and improving the capacities of local partners. The identifications of the projects involved will be approved during 2013 by the drafting of an implementation progress report for the above-mentioned strategy.

More information

Belgian representation

See the website of the Belgian Embassy in Burundi