We touched base with Burundi Country Director Andre Nsengiyumya to get an update on the current situation in Burundi where following the recent protests and violence an estimated 30 people have died and more than 800 have been arrested.

Around 100,000 people have fled the country since mid-April as people fear that the unrest caused by the president's bid for a third term could turn into a civil conflict.

This unrest means that travel has become more dangerous which has had a direct effect on our work. In the rural Mwaro Province our work continues since most of the unrest has been in the capital, Bujumbura. However, our office in Bujumbura has been only opening sporadically for the last month and our staff are finding it hard get out of their homes to travel to the project we run nearby Bujumbura.

The demonstrations happen during the week so some travel is possible at weekends but the situation has to be assessed on a daily basis. Our staff in the field continue to work with the community groups but given that some businesses have suspended operations in Bujumbura, procurement for some inputs is hard.

Essentially, our work has slowed down on this project but not stopped as our staff who are based in the field continue to provide support to farmers and our staff in the Bujumbura office are trying to use the little window of time they have to reach the field. We will probably continue to operate at a lower level until the situation becomes calmer.

The presidential election has been scheduled for mid-June although no date has been confirmed. Our project budget spend is on track for the first three quarters of the year but we expect the last quarter to be slightly lower than planned. We are assessing the situation on a weekly basis and will attempt to get the project back on track when things are less volatile.

Please keep the team, their families, farmers and everyone in Burundi in your thoughts at this stressful time.