World Bank loan for economic rehabilitation

The World Bank has announced a new US $54 million loan in support of the Burundi government's economic reform programme.

The loan has a grace period of 10 years, meaning that Burundi will not have to begin making payments for a decade. The loan will mature in 40 years, by which time Burundi should have repaid it in full.

According to the World Bank, the loan "will advance the transitional support strategy goals of enhancing national reconciliation, strengthening economic stability, and making structural reforms that encourage growth and poverty reduction".

"Personally, I would venture that Burundi today is the most preoccupying country in the Great Lakes region in terms of insecurity," World Bank spokesman Raymond Toye told IRIN. "Therefore it is of the greatest concern to all parties to get the region back to civilian business and peaceful economic development."