In 2017, the UK Aid Match scheme supported our Food in a Fragile World appeal – giving us an opportunity to launch an ambitious project in Burundi to combat malnutrition in children under five. As the project ends, we’re reflecting on its impact and the mark it’s made on thousands of families living in extreme poverty.
Four years ago, thanks to generous donations from the public, we raised £1.8 million - including £851,237 of match funding from the UK government - for our Food in a Fragile World appeal. The match funding gave us an opportunity to launch an ambitious project in Cibitoke, Burundi, which aimed to improve the lives of 58,000 children under five who were at serious risk of malnutrition.
Right now, more than 50% of people living in Burundi don’t have enough to eat. Poverty, inconsistent rainfall and the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have all contributed to high levels of food insecurity and hunger. In turn, the country currently has the highest prevalence of chronic malnutrition in the world.
Children, who make up around half the population, are disproportionately affected by this. In Cibitoke, northwest Burundi, every other child is chronically malnourished - impacting their ability to grow and learn, preventing their development and weakening their immune systems, making them more susceptible to diseases.