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Over the last year and a half, some 300,000 Burundians have fled their homeland to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.
So far, this unfolding refugee crisis and the escalating political situation in Burundi have received little attention in the mainstream media.
Violent clashes between protestors and police began in Burundi in April 2015 when incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intension to run for a third term – a move deemed unconstitutional by his opponents.
Trócaire director Justin Kilcullen said the organisation deeply regrets that it will be forced to pull out of nine countries over the next 18 months due to the series of cuts to the overseas aid budget made by the Irish government in recent months and a fall off in public donations. The agency will end its work in Brazil, Tanzania, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Haiti before the end of this year and in Zambia, Nigeria, Peru and Indonesia by next year.
Next year, Trócaire's office in Angola will also be closed and the work managed from Mozambique.
Nathan Zulu from the Chipata District of Eastern Zambia no longer stays awake at night waiting for the rains.
12 million people in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Malawi are facing immediate hunger and food shortages. It is an unprecedented crisis for many reasons.
Trócaire announced today that it has received €650,000 from Ireland Aid for its relief and rehabilitation programme in southern Africa including fragile Angola which is now facing a food crisis as it struggles to recover from nearly three decades of war.