By Jean Bosco
The Burundian government has said it needs $380 million to help 70,000 vulnerable people across the country, a minister told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
"Once obtained, the money will be used over a period of five years, as provided by the national strategy of socio-economic reintegration of victims for the period between 2017 and 2021," Martin Nivyabandi, Minister of Human Rights, Social Action and Gender, said.
"This group of vulnerable people is made up of returnees, internally displaced persons, ex-combatants, the handicapped, widows, orphans, the chronically ill, Batwa [pygmies, a minority ethnic group], albinos and many victims of natural disasters," he said.
With a population of over 11 million people, more than 90 percent live in rural areas directly dependent on agriculture.
The country is often hit by harsh weather, leading to a fall in production and the destruction of crops.
The most dangerous disasters are mainly landslides, floods and drought.
In 2016, the Ministry of Human Rights and Social Affairs said in its annual activity report that at least 48,281 families affected by climate change disasters.
Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to the World Bank. Nearly 65 percent of its population lives below the poverty line.
The vulnerability rate of the population was accentuated by a political and security crisis that the country has been going through since 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek a third presidential mandate, deemed illegal by the opposition and civil society.