Bujumbura, rural Bujumbura, Gitega, N’Gozi, Kayanza, Kirundo and Moso


Burundi, with its 10 million inhabitants, is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. 67% of the population lives below the poverty line and has limited access to medical care. In the provinces of Kayanza, Ngozi and Kirundo, where the work of Louvain Coopération takes place, the fertility rate is about 6 children per woman. 44% of the population is under 15 years of age and a large portion of this group has a limited life expectancy which does not exceed 50.

The political situation is improving thanks to the support of the United Nations, which ensures that there is dialogue between the government, political parties, and civil society.

At the international level, Burundi is a member of regional economic groups, such as the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). This membership should boost entrepreneurship.

Indicators BURUNDI Belgium
Population (thousands) 10 395 931 11 203 992
Surface area (km2) 27 834 30 528
Density (people/km2) 373,50 367
Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births) 63,44 4,18
Life expectancy (in years) 53 81
Human Development Index (HDI) out of 100 38,9 88,1
Number of doctors (per 1,000 people) 0,03 4,2
Literacy rate (%) 66 99
GDP per capita (PPP – $) 877 40 760

Food and Economic Security

securite_red_rondBurundi’s economy is mostly rural, based on agriculture and livestock farming. However, inflation and an unfavorable exchange rate make it difficult for the population to live in decent conditions; only 66% of households manage to live on their farming activity.

Burundi went through 10 years of civil war. Despite a national reconciliation policy, the climate remains unstable and ongoing violence still affects the living conditions of the population. 58% of children under 5 are malnourished.

Louvain Coopération’s projects in Burundi aim to help families sustainably access sufficient food resources. By providing starter kits for farming or commercial activities, the NGO helps populations to develop income-generating activities. In addition, Louvain Coopération provides a range of economic services to support small-scale entrepreneurs, and helps them to carry out their projects.

Key figures
  • 3,068 micro-entrepreneurs and 8,345 cooperative members have benefited from business management training since 2011
  • Female representation has increased by 440% in three years. They now represent 27% of micro-entrepreneurs and cooperative members
  • The Maison des Entrepreneurs, a business support organization, helped to create or re-launch 50 businesses, and to organize 18 cooperatives
  • A guarantee fund allows entrepreneurs to receive bank credit, even after the project ends
  • The total quantity of seeds in reserves increased from 0 to 428.7 tons in 5 years
  • Severe malnutrition among children between 6 months and 5 years dropped from 2.68% to 1%
  • 91% of households now have some form of savings (31% in 2009). The average amount of savings has quadrupled, growing from BIF119,330 (€59) to BIF 511,890 (€255)
Partner in the South

Access to Healthcare

securite_red_rondIn 2006 Burundi made medical care free for childbirths, and children under the age of 5. The government also created a Medical Assistance Card (CAM), to be replaced once community health insurance has been set up across the country.

In early 2014, the authorities directed use of the card towards the poorest sectors of society, while community health insurances were used to help the rest of the population. Burundi now has 735 healthcare centers, including 42 working hospitals, throughout the country.

Despite this progress, the country’s healthcare situation remains worrying, particularly because of certain diseases. Malaria is the primary cause of death in the country, the reason for 60% of all medical visits, and accounts for more than half of deaths among children under 5. The situation is nevertheless improving; the number of deaths from malaria has halved, thanks to better care and wider access to healthcare. The infant mortality rate has been reduced threefold, thanks to the increasing number of children being vaccinated (94% in 2013).

Key figures
  • The program was extended to the municipality of Ngozi, increasing the number of community health insurances members to 5,313
  • The visitor rate at health facilities increased from 60% to 87% among households
  • The percentage of households with satisfactory hygiene levels increased from 11% to 24.2%
  • MUSA worked with 65 authorized health facilities, including 7 hospitals and 58 healthcare centers
Partners in the South