Burundi is a landlocked country at the heart of Africa’s Great Lakes Region between the River Nile basin draining east and the Congo River basin draining west into Lake Tanganyika. Burundi is characterized by an inadequate infrastructure network, a very low human development index (184th/188), a general lack of capacity, weak governance and high vulnerability to external shocks. Burundi is one of the poorest countries in Africa: with a GDP of $171 per capita in 2011; nearly 70% of the population lives below the poverty line of 1 US $/day/person, and 85% of households face daily food insecurity.
Burundi’s economy is dominated by small-scale, predominantly rainfed subsistence agriculture practiced by more than 90 % of the total population, occupying 50% of the country’s land area. Land degradation in Burundi’s highlands is leading to a decline in agricultural production, loss of agrobiodiversity and contributing to food shortages, food insecurity, chronic malnutrition, land and social conflicts, poverty, rural-urban migration and increased vulnerability to climate change.