How Concern and UK aid is fighting global hunger

A group of 50 people work on restoring a 4km stretch of road in Rushanga as part of a cash-for-work initiative run by Concern to open up inaccessible areas and provide additional income for vulnerable households. In Gitega, more than 2,000 people have benefited from the community resilience programme. Photo Darren Vaughan
A group of people work on restoring a road in Burundi as part of a cash-for-work programme.

Burundi in East Africa is one of the world’s poorest countries. In the last two years a lack of resources has rocketed food prices causing a food security crisis. Many have also experienced a nutrition crisis where the poorest people are not getting the food they need to survive and sustain themselves.  

In addition to this, in some parts of the country, there has also been a malaria epidemic. Concern has been responding to the need and helping communities in one of the worst hit provinces, Kirundo.  

Why has this happened?

There is a lack of produce in the country due to an unstable climate. Food imports and exports are restricted and when harvests are poor, food prices increase dramatically. When this happens, it is Burundi’s poorest and most vulnerable people that are hit the hardest.  

How Concern is helping

Concern is tackling the nutrition crisis by improving the treatment of children who are dangerously malnourished and initiating projects to keep people healthy.

We are doing this by:

  • Ensuring that children under five that are in need of urgent medical and nutritional support have access to lifesaving services.
  • In the Kirundo province, health workers and health centres will receive further training to support very ill children and parents.
  • In communities, further staff are being trained to ensure visits to households are completed and parents receive cooking lessons and advice on a balanced diet.

 

Concern is tackling the issue of food security by stopping the crisis from escalating and working with communities so that they can support themselves.

This means that:

  • Very vulnerable households will receive cash transfers and financial assistance to ensure that families get access to the food that  will support the recovery of severely malnourished children.
  • Families will be supported to set up kitchen gardens (link). Concern provides seeds, vegetables, materials for construction and training so families can grow a wide variety of vegetables.

 

We are also helping fight the malaria epidemic by ensuring that children are not suffering from malnutrition. Malaria and other serious respiratory infections are leading consequences of malnutrition among children under five.  

In total, the project will target at least 8,820 acutely malnourished children and support approximately 6000 households.

Venerande Milburo

40-year-old Venerande Miburo is one of six Community Health Workers in Mukerwa supported by Concern. Her job is to visit 210 families each month - checking that mothers and their young children are healthy and well nourished.
40-year-old Venerande Miburo is one of six Community Health Workers in Mukerwa supported by Concern.

This is Venerande Milburo, a Community Health Worker supported by Concern. She visits 210 families each month and checks that mothers and young children are healthy and nourished. She gives advice on breastfeeding, good nutrition and hygiene techniques. She can even treat malaria and diarrhea. The idea is that she spots the early signs of malnutrition and ill health so that preventative action can be taken there and then.

She said:

I love people and I love what I do.

Venerande Milburo

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