Risk Profile

Burundi is among the poorest countries in the world, with 58 percent of its population living on less than 1 USD a day. The Human Development Index of Burundi ranks the country on position 178 out of 187 countries. Rain-fed agriculture constitutes 95 percent of the country’s food supply, generating almost half of its GDP. Burundi is a country prone to drought, floods, storms, landslides, forest fires, epidemics and earthquakes. The northern and central provinces are at particular risk from persistent drought, while the plains are prone to frequent flooding. The capital city, Bujumbura, is exposed to fluvial erosion due to desertification caused by environmental degradation.  The Bujumbura Central Market was destroyed by a fire in January 2013. The disaster served as a catalyst in raising the awareness of authorities and the public of the importance of strengthening Burundi’s capacities for preparedness for emergency response, as well as prevention.

CADRI Support to Burundi

Against the backdrop of the Bujumbura Central Market fire incident, at the request of the Government of Burundi and the UN Country Team (UNCT), an inter-agency capacity assessment in disaster risk reduction, including preparedness for response, was conducted with support from CADRI in June 2013. The capacity assessment identified disaster risk reduction gaps and challenges facing the country, and highlighted available capacities requiring reinforcement.

The assessment was carried out by a multi-sectoral team composed of members of the Burundi National Platform for DRR, members of the UNCT and staff of CADRI Partner Agencies from global and regional levels, based on the CADRI methodology. The assessment included interviews at the national and provincial levels (covering  8 of Burundi’s 17 provinces, namely Kirundo, Bujumbura rural, Bururi, Makamba, Muramvya, Gitega, Ruyigi, Cankuzo), as well as at communal level in 14 communes. Interviews were carried out with representatives of Government authorities, UN agencies, technical and financial partners, NGOs, the Red Cross, the University and industry (public-private enterprise). The findings from interviews were complemented by an extensive analysis of legislation, strategies, policies, action plans, codes, programme documents and activity reports provided by the Government, UN agencies and other stakeholders involved in the process. The Capacity Assessment report was validated through a national workshop convened by the Government.

Based on the recommendations of the capacity assessment, a National Plan of Action for Capacity Development in Disaster Risk Reduction, Preparedness and Emergency Response 2013-2016 (Plan d’action pour le renforcement des capacités nationales pour la reduction des risques, la preparation et la réponse aux urgencies au Burundi) was developed and validated by Government, the UNCT and other national stakeholders, with an estimated budget of USD 6 million. The capacity development activities provided in the National Plan are categorized according to the five Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) priority areas, namely:

  • institutional arrangements for disaster risk reduction
  • risk identification, assessment and communication
  • knowledge, training and education
  • reducing underlying risk factors by disaster-proofing Burundi’s priority development sectors (environment, water management, infrastructure, food security and WASH)
  • enhancing disaster preparedness and response capacities.

The National Plan is currently under implementation by the Government and its international cooperation partners. Based on request, technical support from CADRI partner agencies will be available for the implementation of certain capacity development activities in the National Plan.