Oxfam in Burundi

Burundi is one of the poorest countries on the planet. More than half its population is under 17 years old and life expectancy is only 51 years. Over a decade of wars has left the country in an extremely delicate situation, in which peace is a relative concept and insecurity persists.


The 2015 election tensions led to weeks of violent protests across the capital and rural districts of Burundi. Tens of thousands of Burundians have since fled to neighbouring countries, many to Tanzania and Rwanda. The political situation related to the presidential elections had a major impact on an economy that was already weak, and as a result people’s vulnerability increased. 


Oxfam has been working in Burundi since the 1990s. Our work was initially focused on humanitarian interventions, but it has progressively shifted towards reconstruction and development.


Since May 2015 Oxfam has been supporting people from Burundi who had to flee their homes. We‘re responding to the crisis at Kabonga refugee camp in Burundi and at Nyarugusu and Kagunga camps in Tanzania. We’ve also been working elsewhere in Burundi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Rwanda, where we’re providing food, clean water and sanitation to refugees. We’re also conducting hygiene promotion programmes and have put in place mechanisms to prevent sexual and gender-based violence.