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Burundi: World Bank Approves Emergency Funds to Support Ex-Combatants’ Social and Economic Reintegration

August 28, 2013

WASHINGTON, August 28 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$4.25 million additional emergency recovery grant from the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) to boost Burundi’s support for former combatants returning to their communities, with a particular focus on women, children, and severely disabled ex-combatants.

“Following years of civil war, Burundi has seen steady success in rehabilitating and creating an economic infrastructure and improving budget discipline,” says Philippe Dongier, World Bank Country Director for Burundi. “Today’s project continues the Government’s already successful efforts to demobilize and reintegrate ex-combatants and promote sustainable peace and development.”

Today’s funds will support new activities under Burundi’s Emergency Demobilization and Transitional Reintegration Project. The new project has two components. The first will target severely disabled ex-combatants with newly constructed houses that can accommodate disability-specific needs; training to support the autonomy of disabled ex-combatants; and medical care. The second component will support conflict mitigation training for ex-combatants and their communities, training for economic associations of ex-combatants and community members, and support a gender sensitization program to benefit female ex- combatants, spouses of male ex-combatants and women living in these communities.

“By providing support for conflict mitigation and gender sensitivity training for ex-combatants and their communities, peace will be fostered in Burundi”, says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region“Today’s project will also help the Government as it builds its economy, and creates jobs and improved living conditions of thousands of families.”

Today’s funds are financed by a Bank administered single-country, single-purpose MDTF set up to co-finance the Emergency Demobilization and Transitional Reintegration Project. The MDTF is supported by the Governments of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway. Burundi’s Government will provide additional resources to fully support the project, which is valued at US$7.9 million.

*The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing zero-interest financing and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 1.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Between 2003 and 2013, IDA provided $256 billion in financing for 3,787 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting on average, 36 African countries a year.

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