BUJUMBURA May 31st (ABP) – The World Food Program (WFP) will continue to contribute to strengthening food security in Burundi through its new strategic plan 2022-2024. This was revealed last week during a press conference hosted by the resident coordinator of the United Nations system in Burundi, Mr. Damien Mama, within the framework of presenting the various achievements of certain United Nations agencies working in Burundi.
The WFP country director and representative in Burundi, Mr. Housainou Taal, recalled that the projects already implemented, in cooperation with other United Nations agencies such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have been possible thanks to the determination of the Government of Burundi and funding from donors driven by a desire to see Burundi experience decisive growth.
“This year and those to come will be crucial for the WFP and its partners to be able to strengthen the government, farmers and the private sector of Burundi in their capacity to better feed the population quantitatively and qualitatively, thanks to new financing”, said Mr. Housainou by emphasizing that Burundi has the potential to be able to feed its population, to which the WFP will direct its current and future objectives.
As part of promoting the local economy, the WFP purchased, in 2021, 7,000 tons of locally produced food to redistribute it to 1.2 million people in food insecurity, in this case, 66,000 Burundian refugees who returned to the country, 52,000 Congolese refugees, people displaced by the rising water of Lake Tanganyika, people affected by drought and above all, 635,000 schoolchildren who receive meals in schools supported by the government and the WFP, exemplified the WFP representative in Burundi.
Mr. Housainou said that in addition to local purchases of food, WFP supports about 30,000 agricultural producers through 350 cooperatives in agricultural planning, in training to minimize losses in post-harvest processes, in the equipment in post-harvest management tools and in market research, so that they can improve the quantity and quality of their production, as well as their income.
According to that representative of the WFP in Burundi, this approach is in line with the long-term priorities of the government of Burundi included in the National Development Plan (PND 2018-2027) which emphasizes “sustainable and inclusive growth for economic resilience and sustainable development”. More specifically, the new government of Burundi acknowledges that nutrition, agriculture, education and social protection are among its main priorities, he said with joy.
Regarding support for the milk value chain and the private sector, Mr. Housainou pointed out that milk has excellent nutritional value and that its consumption is particularly encouraged for the growth of children. The resilience project has made it possible to increase the proportion of households consuming sufficient and adequate food from 63% in 2020 to 71% in 2021, it was specified in a booklet containing the report of WFP’s achievements in Burundi.
In order to cope with the inflation that is taking hold in the country, Mr. Housainou pointed out that the WFP is already implementing the mechanisms aimed at mitigating it, namely the increase in local purchases by stimulating local production with training in post-harvest management and equipment for small farmers’ cooperatives, as well as the promotion of user contracts with local producers, cooperatives supported by the WFP and the National Food Security Stock Management Authority (ANAGESSA) to purchase locally produced food stocks.