Landlocked and Hungry

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world – over 1 million of its people are facing emergency and crisis levels of hunger today. But WFP is there – and we’re shoring up resilience.

A landlocked and densely populated country in East Africa, Burundi is the second country most affected by chronic malnutrition in the world. These alarming levels of hunger are driven by poverty, rapid population growth, climate-related shocks, poor access to clean water, and low access to basic services such as health and education.


of children under 5 are stunted


lowest GDP in the world


refugees live in the country

Photo: WFP/Giulio d'Adamo


The majority of Burundi’s poor live in rural areas, where 90 percent of people rely heavily on subsistence agriculture and informal employment.

And a hilly landscape makes the country vulnerable to climate-related shocks such as flooding.

Adding to the pressure on Burundi’s stretched resources, over 50,000 refugees, mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are hosted in already food-insecure areas and rely on assistance for basic food and nutrition.

Only 32 percent of Burundi’s children complete their lower secondary education. Although women play a central role in the development of the country, gender equality is among the lowest in the world.

But peaceful general elections in May 2020 and subsequent political developments helped the international community recognize Burundi as a country with a huge potential for development.


Working in conjunction with United Nations partners, we support the Government of Burundi by addressing the root causes of malnutrition, providing life-saving support to vulnerable people and improving resilience through school meals, capacity strengthening, gender equality, building sustainable food systems and more.

Combatting Malnutrition

As part of a national strategy, in partnership with the Government of Burundi, we run a stunting prevention program for kids under 5. We also treat malnutrition with nutritious foods for children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in four of the most food insecure provinces. Food fortification initiatives also play a key role in this strategy.

Food Systems

We’re working with the government and smallholder farmers to increase the quantity and quality of food production and therefore smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. How? We purchase food from them for our Home-Grown school feeding program. And we’re working on the value chain production of nutritious flour and milk across the country.

Photo: WFP/Irenee Nduwayezu
School Meals

We’re serving healthy meals in primary schools to ensure kids’ physical and intellectual growth. And we also pursue nutritional, environmental and economic development objectives by linking farmers to schools, organizing nutrition sensitization campaigns and building fuel-efficient stoves to cook school meals.

Photo: WFP/Aurore Ishimwe

Help Save Lives by Sending Food

You can help deliver food to vulnerable populations in Burundi and other countries by donating to WFP.