US$25 million appeal launched for children caught in Burundi conflict

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Two Burundian child refugees in Mahama refugee camp, Eastern Province, Rwanda Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1378/Pflanz

An escalation of violence in Burundi over the past six months has killed 17 children and injured many more, the UN children's fund, UNICEF, reports.

The agency is appealing for US$25 million to assist children there or who are living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

The Burundi crisis began in April when President Pierre Nkurunziza stood for a contested third term.

More than 200 people have been killed and more than 200,000 citizens have fled to nearby countries such as Tanzania.

Dianne Penn reports.

Child rights violations in Burundi have multiplied since the crisis began, according to UNICEF.

Children have been caught up in violent clashes in raids, their schools have been hit by grenades and more than 100 young people are being arbitrarily detained, at times for long periods and alongside adult prisoners.

UNICEF was also concerned about how increasing poverty related to the crisis is having an impact on the country's youth.

Food prices have risen sharply and more families are finding it hard to feed themselves.

Four out of five Burundians are already living on less than US $1.25 a day.

UNICEF is appealing for US$25 million to support Burundi's children and families.

The funding will go towards lifesaving services and supplies for those in the country, as well as Burundian refugees in Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 59″

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