BUJUMBURA Feb 22 The European Union will give Burundi 68
million euros ($89.91 million) to be used to improve electricity generation and
transmission in rural areas to improve food production in the tiny central
African country, an EU official said on Friday.
International donors will fund 49 percent of Burundi's 2013 budget of 1.3
trillion francs ($855 million). While the government fears that global economic
and financial troubles could reduce external aid, it expects to receive grants
worth 645.3 billion francs this year against 523.2 billion francs in 2012.
European Union's commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs said that of
the aid announced on Friday., 50 million euros will go toward rural
electrification and developing small and medium hydro power plants to benefit
around one million people living in rural areas.
"There can be no development without energy and, unfortunately the energy
situation in Burundi remains one of the worst in the world, with daily power
cuts being experienced by most people, he told a news conference at the end of a
two-day visit to Burundi.
Only 3.5 percent of people in Burundi have access to electricity while
demand for it grows by 13 percent every year.
Piebalgs said another 18 million euro to help the coffee producing nation
improving food security for 80,000 undernourished children.
($1 = 0.7563 euros)
(Reporting by Patrick Nduwimana; Editing by George Obulutsa; editing by Ron