This time last year we launched our Food in a Fragile World appeal; a fundraising initiative focusing on helping families in climate and conflict-affected countries get the food, water and healthcare that they need to survive. One year on, we take a look at the difference your donations – which were doubled by the Department for International Development thanks to the UK aid match scheme – have made to the lives of some of the world’s poorest people living in Burundi.
Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, where more than a third of the population doesn’t have enough food to eat. Poverty, political instability and scarce rainfall all contribute to high levels of food insecurity and hunger. And children, who make up around half the population, are disproportionately affected. In Cibitoke, an area with one of the highest levels of chronic malnutrition in the country, every other child living is chronically malnourished.
Hunger prevents children from developing. It causes stunting and weakens their immune systems making them more susceptible to diseases. Their ability to grow and learn is permanently damaged, and by the time they are just two years old, the effects of malnutrition are irreversible. That’s why, in Burundi (and, in fact, all of the countries we work in), the aim is to prevent malnutrition in the first place, or at least spot the early signs before it can take hold. And to do this, we target pregnant women and mums with young children. Mums like Clotilde.
Clotilde Ndayisenga is a proud mum of four from Cibitoke, Burundi, pictured here with her second youngest daughter, Ines (five).