Highlighted results

84,843 family farms have increased farm productivity and farm income

More than one million farmer families connected to a digital platform that provides access to financial and non-financial services, among other resources

824 public schools (one fifth of public schools) are providing sexual education, with a minimum of three trained teachers per school

4,930 security officers trained in countering human trafficking and in improved respect for citizens’ rights and awareness

1,912 conflicts at the local level successfully resolved by community structures (peace clubs)

Additional sources

Factsheet Multiannual Country Strategy Burundi

Factsheet on the efforts of The Netherlands from 2019 to 2022


Overview of projects in Burundi


Since the political crisis in 2015, Burundi has faced political instability and economic decline. Space for political dialogue has been lacking, human rights violations are persistent and people’s trust in the government is at a low level. With the general decrease in national income, poverty increased. There are shortages of basic products and foreign currency, and business activity has slumped.

The Netherlands contributes to eliminating the main drivers of conflict in Burundi:

Chronic food insecurity, malnutrition and the negative impact of climate change on agricultural production

Rapid population growth, gender inequality and gender-based violence

The lack of prospects and employment for young people

Fragile political governance.

To achieve this, the focus has been on:

The empowerment of farmer families through agricultural development and private sector development, in particular where the two overlap;

The empowerment of women and youths by making sexual and reproductive health information, products and services widely available;

The development of job skills and the creation of employment opportunities and other opportunities for income generation;

Strengthening the voice and participation of citizens at various levels in society by supporting participation in dialogue with the government and through reconciliation efforts.

Results 2019

Despite the current political landscape, the Dutch programmes have achieved remarkable results in food and nutrition security, sexual and reproductive health and local governance.

Within the food security programme, interventions to instil motivation in farmer households - men and women alike, as well as their adolescent children - to take up resilience-based farming have been expanded to other farmer families. This has continued to contribute to sustainable agricultural production and increased farm income.

Within the sexual and reproductive health programme, availability and access to appropriate reproductive health information, products and services (through health and non-health providers, schools and youth initiatives) have improved. This has resulted in greater use of contraceptives, reduced teenage pregnancies and, over time, a reduced fertility rate.

Despite the difficult political context, some results could be achieved in the area of good governance. Benevolencija continued to provide support to Burundian media outlets. The work through the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) in the field of political dialogue is widely acknowledged to have had a defusing effect on political tensions at the local level. The work through VNG International has fostered local ownership and collaboration at local community level. The work through IOM has improved ministerial co-ordination and ownership among politicians and government officials to tackle human trafficking.

Results by theme

Food security SRHR Security and rule of Law

Featured project Burundi

More than one million rural households connected to access various financial and non-financial services

More than one million rural households connected to the UMVA (Universal Method of Value Access) digital platform to access various financial and non-financial services (AUXFIN)

In the course of the year, AUXFIN worked on connecting one million rural households, roughly 70 to 80% of all rural households in Burundi, to its UMVA digital platform. The platform provides households with online transaction and savings accounts that enable them to access loans and credits (Financial Coach), to (subsidised) fertilisers and improved seeds, and to information on weather, agriculture and markets (AgriCoach). Health services are also being connected and developed (Health Coach) as well as a special Nutrition Coach.

More than one million rural households connected to access various financial and non-financial services

Read more about the UMVA platform

Food security

The results in context

Land is the basis of agriculture, which is the main livelihood for 90% of Burundians. Rapid population growth, limited opportunities for alternative livelihoods due to the slow development of other economic sectors and limited access to input and output markets have caused rural households to increasingly cultivate marginal land on steep slopes. This has resulted in large-scale land degradation and a general decline in agricultural productivity. Land scarcity and low agricultural production have also caused large population movements and land conflicts. The Food and Nutrition Security programme has therefore paid much attention to combating land degradation. To date, it has assisted around 85,000 farmer households in improving soil and water conservation on their farmland.

Lack of land security is also a big impediment to agricultural investment. Dutch-funded land registration and certification interventions have therefore been put in place to facilitate the registration and certification of 43,696 parcels owned by rural households, covering a total of 8,379 hectares, owned by men and women alike. A large number of land conflicts have been resolved in the process.

Access to quality inputs and finance has continued to improve. To increase access to a variety of financial and non-financial services, more than one million farmer households were connected to the UMVA digital platform. More than 45,000 farmers made use of the services of micro finance institutions. Forty private seed producers were supported in improving their businesses and sales to farmer households, and more than 23,000 farmers were trained in the use of quality seeds.

Nutritional practices in households were enhanced, addressing chronic malnutrition: 69,153 young children benefited from community-based nutrition activities, while around 250,000 children received daily nutritious school meals prepared using locally sourced ingredients.



Number of farmer families with increased productivity and/or income




On track

Projects in this result area have reached famers directly and supported them in various ways: through integrated farm planning, enabling access to fertilisers and improved seeds; through technical support for storage; and by enabling access to micro-finance. All results refer to crop production only (no livestock or fish production). The number of family farmers with increased productivity and/or income is expected to increase over time.

The self-advancement approach at the core of the FNS programme has enormous appeal to farmer households and has, to a large extent, been spread spontaneously by trained farmer households to neighbouring communities. The use of better inputs, crop yields and income have all increased and a high number of farmers have demonstrated that they are prepared to pay for improved inputs. Savings have increased and groups of farmers have found outlets for their produce.

For more information you can watch this video of the PAPAB project.


Number of land titles registered


43,696 parcels


On track

Lack of land security is a big impediment to agricultural investment. Dutch-funded land registration and certification interventions have therefore been put in place to facilitate the registration and certification of land.

A systematic approach is used in the land registration project, which means that all land within a community is covered. The project has covered the majority of two provinces with a high influx of returnees. Solving conflicts over land and thereby conflicts in the community was an essential part of the process, which will serve as a model for scaling up land titling nationwide.

43,696 parcels (cumulative)


The results in context

The sexual and reproductive health programmes continued to work on protecting, promoting and facilitating universal access to reproductive health information, products and services. Public health facilities continued to offer contraceptives using the available stocks that were built up through earlier support: 98% of public health facilities now have at least seven types of contraceptives at their disposal and a minimum of two staff trained in supply chain management. Private distribution channels continued to be supported in selling 3,800,000 subsidised condoms through kiosks and reaching 12,000 new users of contraceptives through private clinics.

Sensitivity to reproductive health and gender across the health sector is being enhanced. Health professionals receive on-the-job training to offer age-appropriate family planning. A new curriculum for medical students has been developed, which includes reproductive health and gender. Students at the paramedics school are also being trained using reproductive health and gender content.

In the meantime, one-fifth of Burundi public schools (824 primary and secondary schools) now provide sexual education to pupils and students, with a minimum of three trained teachers per school. Out-of-school youths are targeted through financial education and social empowerment initiatives: through 1,100 solidarity groups, some 28,000 youngsters are being financially educated and socially empowered in life skills and informed choice.

Professional training is being provided to health and non-health actors (police, justice, psychosocial) to address the high level of sexual and gender-based violence.

New communication and technology partners (Bibliothèques sans Frontières, AUXFIN UMVA platform, Jimbere magazine, Yaga bloggers) have been brought on board to widen the reach and strengthen the effectiveness of reproductive health and gender communication. Tailor-made messages are being developed to promote a receptive environment for reproductive health demand, lobbying and advocacy and public diplomacy.

Community prevention activities targeting specific key populations continue to be carried out by the Global Fund and HIV Alliance partners to further reduce the HIV rate, currently at 0.9% (2017).

Security and rule of Law

The results in context

In the security sector, some 4,930 security officers received training in countering human trafficking and improved respect for citizens’ rights and awareness. Identification mechanisms at the border have improved, while security officers engaged in dialogue with civil society, political representatives and the population.

In the justice sector, multiple programmes were used to train some 80 lawyers, 160 paralegals, 160 mediators and another 70 communicators in inclusive conflict resolution skills. Legal support was provided to 158 sexual and gender-based violence victims, and the judicial files of 4,376 prisoners were undergoing active reviews to avoid the risk of overstay.

In the area of good governance, close to 2,000 conflicts at local level were resolved by community structures (peace clubs), which makes for an 84% success rate. Eight localities (with 400,000 inhabitants) developed local development plans and budgets in an inclusive and participatory manner. Various programmes aim to organise an inclusive dialogue among youth members. Some activities have been suspended though, due to diminishing civil space and increased tensions between political party members in the run up to the 2020 elections.

Despite increasing challenges to press freedom, media outlets were supported and have therefore managed to continue to operate.



Security officers trained in countering human trafficking and improved respect for citizens’ rights and awareness




On track

4,930 security officers were trained in countering human trafficking and improved respect for citizens’ rights and awareness.

4,930 security officers

Conflicts at the local level successfully resolved by community structures (peace clubs)


1912 conflicts resolved


On track

The numbers show a mixed picture. On the one hand, the success rate of resolved conflicts is fairly high, at 84.5%. The actual number of cases, however, suffered from the fact that some community institutions had to close due to a loss of political independence.

Many conflicts in Burundi are land-related. Weak land registration systems, increased rural population densities, weak heritage laws and cycles of displacement and repatriation all led to increased land-related conflict. In the absence of an affordable and accessible formal judicial system, community structures are the primary channel to seek justice for large parts of the rural population.

Number of cases dealt with

Number of media outlets supported


8 media outlets supported


Not applicable

Support to eight private media outlets in the form of journalist training, improved internal management, editorial coaching and promoting collaboration and exchange between them.

Burundian media are essential as a source of information and a platform for debate. You often see Burundians with a small radio next to their ear, listening to the latest developments in their country.

Many qualified journalists left the country in 2015, following a political crisis. Recovering from that loss of expertise in a challenging economic context with limited press freedom remains a challenge to this very day.

Supported media outlets

Background and future Burundi


Farmer households that were motivated to invest in their farms managed to achieve a significant increase in farm production and income, and thereby food security. They did so largely through their own means. To further promote self-led development of farmer households, the challenge is now to convince other donors and development organisations that interventions based on donations should be avoided if there is no urgent humanitarian need. Experience has shown that free gifts tend to discourage beneficiaries from making their own decisions and investments.

In the area of sexual and reproductive health, increased availability of contraceptives has contributed to greater use of contraceptives and a reduced fertility rate over time. To further meet the need for family planning, contribute to the goal of a maximum of three children per woman and reduce teenage pregnancies, investments in mind-set and behavioral change need to be scaled up nationally to achieve the required long-term impact.

The political situation continues to weigh heavily on the security and rule of law situation in the country. Underinvestment in Burundi’s civil service apparatus has hampered the effectiveness of and the community's trust in the justice and security sector. The positive legacy of the Netherlands’ earlier Security Sector Development programme, which worked directly with police, army and governance institutions, is slowly diminishing. New activities can only address this regress to a small extent.

Glimpse into the future

The work on self-advancement of farmer families has already produced significant results in terms of production, income and food security, but it has also set the stage for achieving bigger and lasting results. Interventions are now underway to build on the capacities created among farmer households, taking them through a process of further professionalisation, fostering entrepreneurship and better connecting them to markets and services.

Promoting informed choice in the field of sexual and reproductive health will be key over the coming years. A multi-target and multi-actor strategy - targeting various population segments and involving private entities and non-health partners - is required to reach the scale needed to achieve the required long-term impact. While health professionals continue to be targeted, increased coverage of sexual education in public and private schools is important and should be complemented by integrating sexual reproductive health and gender into the curriculum of education professionals.

Progress in the area of peace building and good governance remains fragile and is highly dependent on the conduct and outcome of the upcoming elections (May 2020).

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is most likely severe. The extent to which this affects our current and future projects is still unknown.

Additional sources

You can find how the budget was allocated in 2019 and which projects were funded on the budget website.

  1. Visit the website
    Programme budget Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  2. Select financial year 2019
The Netherlands goverment website on Burundi

Page on current policy towards Burundi

Facebook page

Follow the Embassy of The Netherlands in Burundi on Facebook

Embassy of The Netherlands in Burundi website

Visit the website of the Embassy of The Netherlands in Burundi (in French)

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Burundi

Results SRHR

Download PDF with results for SRHR in Burundi

Results Security and rule of Law

Download PDF with results for Security and rule of Law in Burundi

Expenditure Embassy by channel


Expenditure Embassy by theme


The budget in this figure is for the year 2019 and does not completely correspond with the results on this page, which have been collected between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019. More information on this can be found on the 'About the results report' page.