Burundi Profile

Burundi, with its population of some 8.3 million, is both one of the smallest countries in Africa and one of the ten poorest countries in the world. Initially a kingdom, it was then ruled by Germany until the end of the first World War before becoming part of the Belgian colonial empire and eventually gaining independence in 1962. As with many of the newly emerging independent African nations, internal politics were fraught and unstable. It gained its first elected president in 1993, however within one hundred days the president had been assassinated and a civil war that was to last 12 years and claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of Burundians had been triggered.

That civil war devastated the country's social and economic fabric leaving an already impoverished country in 178th place out of 187 countries and territories in 2011 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country. The war also created 100,000 internally displaced people within Burundi with a further 352,640 Burundi refugees living in Tanzania, 17,777 refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 4400 in Rwanda, in addition to those who had fled further afield. Their return since 2006 has also created problems with property and land conflicts arising.

In order to survive, Burundi is now dependent on foreign aid, but even with that aid, over half the children there under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition.

Nearly half the population is aged fourteen years and under and 11% of all children in Burundi die at birth, with 19% dying before their fifth birthday, one of the highest child mortality rates in the world mainly due to malaria, diarrhoea, and pneumonia.

80% of the population live in poverty, 53% of all Burundi children suffering from stunted growth as a result of a poor or inadequate diet and few children go to school, particularly those of an age for secondary education where figures are as low as 8% in some areas due to a lack of qualified teachers and adequate supplies.



 
 
 
 
 

Burundi Profile

Burundi Profile

Burundi Profile

Burundi Profile

 


Burundi Civil War

Burundi Civil War

A video about the Burundi Civil War showing pictures and images of the conflict.

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Peace in Burundi

Peace in Burundi

A video documentary showing pictures and images about the peace that is returning to Burundi.
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Volunteer Burundi

Volunteer Work Burundi

Check out all the latest African volunteer work placements and opportunities in Burundi.
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Burundi Profile

Burundi Profile

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Today, the children in Burundi face an uncertain future. With poor infrastructure, a very poor level of healthcare, and contagious diseases rife, the cycle needs to be broken.

One of the major problems facing children in Burundi is the lack of educational facilities as many were damaged or destroyed in the civil war and there are a lack of teachers. Cost is also a factor with poor families having to choose between food and education.

 
 


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