Heart of africa

Commonly called the ‘Heart of Africa’, Burundi lies almost in the centre of the African continent with its borders resembling the shape of a heart. As a result of its turbulent history, Burundi is still one of the ten poorest countries in the world: much of the population lives on less than one dollar a day and life expectancy does not exceed 49 years. It’s also the most population-dense country in Africa. There is an average of 248 people per square mile and the population is growing rapidly at nearly 3% each year.

Burundi has been plagued by ongoing civil war for the past 15 years. Burundi’s first democratically elected president was assassinated in October of 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence. More than 200,000 Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen years. Most recently, a renewed political conflict in 2015 has seen more than 315,000 Burundians flee to neighbouring countries, triggering one of the worst refugee crises in Africa. The refugees are still arriving as of November 2016, as the situation in Burundi remains tense and unpredictable. This unrest has had devastating social and economic effects on this already impoverished nation, and the rate of unemployment continues to soar. With a sluggish economy, formerly employed middle-income individuals and families are facing joblessness and inability to make a living due to disruption of businesses and displacement of employers.