IFAD to provide funds for post conflict reconstruction in Burundi to help rural poor people rebuild their lives

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IFAD to provide funds for post conflict reconstruction in Burundi to help rural poor people rebuild their lives

Press release number : IFAD 31/04

Rome, 20 September 2004 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide assistance to rebuild livelihoods of rural communities in post-war Burundi.

The USD 32.7 million Transitional Programme of Post-Conflict Reconstruction will help restore the country’s agriculture, infrastructure and social fabric damaged by the civil strife.

The programme will benefit about 370,000 people living in the provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Bururi and Ruyigi. Of the total programme cost, IFAD will provide USD 16.3 million in loan that will be used for regenerating people’s livelihoods and restore food security in about 74,000 vulnerable rural households.

The loan agreement was signed today at IFAD Headquarters by the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Burundi, Athanase Gahungu, and the Vice-President of IFAD, Cyril Enweze.

One of the key aspects of the reconstruction-programme will be community-driven development. The programme will work to establish Community Development Committees (CDC), responsible for development planning, resources mobilization and implementation of related activities. The programme will train some 10,000 people to become CDC members. Civilians will be also trained in legal counselling. A mobile legal clinic will offer legal support to rural women that suffered various forms of violence during the conflict.

“When a civil war ends, a country is damaged beyond its infrastructure. The social fabric of a community is also weakened if not destroyed. Reconstruction becomes a means for reconciliation.” explained Abla Benhammouche, IFAD’s Country Programme Manager for the Republic of Burundi.

To restore the productive capacity of the most vulnerable households affected by the conflict, the programme will distribute agriculture inputs and livestock, including cattle, pigs, sheep and goats to farmers who have lost all their assets. A number of nurseries will be established to supply farmers with fruit and agroforesty seedlings and potable water systems and rural roads will be rehabilitated to enable rural farmers to resume production and marketing of agricultural production.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to combating rural poverty in the most disadvantaged regions of the world. Since 1978, IFAD has invested USD 8.2 billion in 660 rural development projects and programmes, about 250 million rural people have been supported in their efforts to overcome poverty.