As a Dutch knowledge driven NGO, HealthNet TPO works on the sustainable (re)construction of health care in areas disrupted by war or disaster. Also in Afghanistan we work with ‘evidence-based’ interventions on accessible health care. After all, reconstruction starts with health.
As a result of its turbulent history, Burundi is still one of the ten poorest countries in the world: 68% of the population lives on less than one dollar a day and life expectancy does not exceed 49 years. With external aid and support and despite the incidents, Burundian people and institutions have been working on rebuilding the country for a long time. With its own field office HealthNet TPO has been actively working on (health) care for refugees and psychosocial support to the population since 2000.
Area: 27.834 km²
Population: 8.988.091 (in 2009)
Neighbouring states: DR Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania
Religion: Christianity, traditional beliefs and Islam
After Burundi became independent from Belgium in 1962, the country went through a turbulent history in which power was contested. Dominance of Tutsi in the government and army (despite a minority among the population) led to many clashes. Several coups on the ruling governments caused continuous clashes between the rural Hutu and urban elite of Tutsi. Although various rulers have tried to make the positions of Hutu and Tutsi equivalent through power sharing, in 1995 a civil war started that lasted for over 12 years. The many deaths and displacements as a result of conflicts have exacerbated poverty for the majority of the population and conflicts in the neighbouring DR Congo and Rwanda have led to displacements and refugee groups from, to and in Burundi and across the borders.
To address former tensions under the terms of the ‘Arusha accord for peace and reconciliation’, the vice-president during Burundi’s second transitional phase, which began on 1 May 2003, must be a Tutsi while the president will be a Hutu. Only in 2005, the first democratic elections were held, in which Peter Nkurunziza was chosen as the new president. He was a candidate for the CNDD-FDD movement (a Hutu rebel group) and vowed the integration of ethnic groups and ensured the stability of the country. In 2010 new elections took place and the president has been re-elected. The opposition dismisses the vote as a masquerade and the EU regrets absence of multi-party competition. The political situation is not fully stable despite important efforts of the UN Peace building Commission and violent incidents continue to occur.