Burundi country profile


Burundi is one of the smallest countries on the African continent. The landlocked country has an equatorial tropical climate and is frequently affected by a number of environmental hazards including droughts, flooding, and extreme rainfall. It’s also affected by landslides, soil erosion, and storms. It has the second lowest GDP in the world with more than 70 percent of the population living in poverty (WFP). The primary economic sector is agriculture, employing around 90 percent of the population. Although agriculture is a key sector, only 36% of the country’s land is arable. Future climate variability will have a large impact on food security, water availability, and livelihood generation. Food security risks are highest during the long dry seasons between May and September.

Burundi is also one of the most densely populated countries in the region and continues to have a high rate of population growth. Climate projections indicate that both drought and floods will increase in intensity and frequency, harming an already fragile food security situation. From 2018 to the present, natural hazard impacts from rainfall, floods, and strong winds have already affected more than 322,000 people in the country, including more than 111,000 people who were displaced (IOM). The majority of internally displaced people in Burundi have been forced to flee due to natural disaster impacts, primarily due to the rise of Lake Tanganyika.


Hazard and exposure: 4.7  |  Vulnerability: 6.4  |  Lack of coping capacity: 6.9  (high) |  Total: 5.9  |  Rank: 22


Drought | Riverine floods


  • The Burundi Red Cross has been developing an Early Action Protocol (EAP) for floods supported by WFP with help of the Climate Centre.
  • In 2021, the WFP in partnership with the Burundi Red Cross helped launch the pilot phase of the Forecast-based Financing initiative to establish an anticipatory action system in the country. 12,800 people were reached with early actions for flooding in 2022.