The challenges and our response
Burundi has been plagued by corruption and prolonged conflict between rival Tutsi and Hutu tribes and is among the world’s poorest countries.
Today, 1.1 million people in Burundi are considered in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of ongoing political crisis and climate-induced drought. Food shortages, poverty and a lack of clean water contribute to a 60 percent chronic malnutrition rate among children. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, some quarter of a million Burundians – more than half of them children – have fled to neighboring countries. The internal flows of displacement are increasing the pressure on host communities whose resources and access to services are limited. There is also added pressure on food security, nutrition and livelihoods. International Medical Corps has worked in Burundi since 1995 and administers programs aimed at strengthening health centers, training health care workers and providing nutrition and food assistance activities to reduce malnutrition.
Primary Health Care: International Medical Corps trains local health care professionals, community-based health workers and community leaders in effective preventive and curative primary health care practices. Our staff provides them with the skills needed to address the root causes of malnutrition through increasing knowledge of mothers and caregivers on infant and youth child feeding, water, sanitation and hygiene and home management of common childhood illnesses.
Nutrition And Food Security: International Medical Corps operates a variety of nutrition and food assistance activities in the country, including a USAID Food for Peace program in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, to prevent and reduce stunting in children under two. The program is scheduled to operate through 2019. We train local staff to help us provide a mix of supplemental and therapeutic feeding programs for undernourished and malnourished children.
Community-Based Programs: Our teams work to raise awareness about important health and nutrition issues. Staff conduct community-based activities such as home visits and campaigns around proper nutrition, good hygiene and sanitation practices.