Burundi: living with less than a dollar a day in the poorest country of the world

In Europe, through agriculture benefit funds, a cow receives an average of 2.9 dollars a day. In many parts of Africa, people live with less than a dollar a day. It is better to live in Europe as a cow, that in Africa as human being
— Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize in Economics

From 1993 to 2006 a catastrophic civil war has devastated Burundi, causing a death toll of over 300,000. 10 years after the official end of the war, Burundi is still trying to get back up on its feet. Following the war, poverty in Burundi increased from 48 to 67 percent of the population. Being ranked as the second most impoverished country in the world, Burundians face a tremendous amount of hardships day after day.


The core ofthis reportage is a series of “portrait with object”.
In the West having money means having purchasing power. Accumulating goods, objects, is a symbol of wealth. That which we own owns us. But what objects does someone livingwith less than a dollar a day own?
Residents of Buga Village, the poorest village in the Southern region, are portrayed here with the most precious object they own.

This work’s objective is to tell of Burundi’s rural reality to understand what it means to live with less than a dollar a day, in a territory where the vast majority of the population lives in the countryside.

Burundi is both landlocked and resource poor with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector which makes it very difficult to survive, thus making the country heavily dependent on foreign aid. 
In 2015, Burundi faced another hardship with political turmoil over President Nkurunziza’s heavily debated third term. This drama strained Burundi’s economy and caused blocks in transportation routes which disrupted the flow of agricultural goods. 

To make matters worse, many donors also withdrew their aid, raising tensions throughout the country.  As a result of Burundi’s poverty situation, the median age in Burundi is 17 years old with about 46 percent of the population being 14 years of age or younger. 


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