Apart from the period that the international community imposed sanctions in the 90s, Burundi has been a partner country of Belgium since its independence in 1962.
Public institutions of Burundi have suffered much of the 15 years of crisis that the country has gone through: investment stop, suspension of cooperation programmes, dissipation of human resources, deterioration of infrastructure…
The agricultural sector covers 95% of food needs and employs 90% of working population. But poor productivity, parcelled-out farming land, the weak management of water and processing and preservation problems are structural constraints to agricultural growth. In the field of education as well as health care, the overload of the institutions and the lack of competent staff represent two major challenges.
Belgium plans to concentrate its action on three priority sectors as of 2010:
- Health care
In general, the supports that Belgium provides to solve development problems in Burundi take the form of:
- Promotion of a favourable institutional environment;
- Improvement of sectoral governance;
- Capacity development and training of staff;
- Participation to funding of the sector via a sectoral funding tool.
Belgian cooperation aims at strengthening the sector strategies defined by the Burundi government. It wants to help Burundi to get the resources for the measures and reforms that it undertakes. The objective is to strengthen the performance of the national systems.
Regardless of a progressive reduction of the governance part for the next years, the institution of the rule of law, the strengthening of Justice and the modernisation of the Public Services remain central to Belgian cooperation concerns.