The report which highlights the fragile economy and security of the land-locked country included evidence from the Anglican Church in Burundi and the Anglican Alliance, which brings together development relief and advocacy work across the Anglican Communion. Its recommendations were that the UK Government should reinstate its £13.7 million programme, and said that the closure decision was inconsistent with DFID;s poverty focus, and undermined DFID’s investment in other countries in the region.
The Anglican Archbishop of Burundi, Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi, gave evidence to the select committee at a meeting in London and warned of the security risks in Burundi and the need for more economic development. The Anglican Church of Burundi and the Anglican Alliance made a joint written submission to the Committee.
Welcoming the report, Sally Keeble, Anglican Alliance director, urged the Government to accept the findings of the report. “The Anglican Church in Burundi acted as a powerful advocate for the people, and the Select Committee has taken on board the Church’s proposals. This report makes the clear case to reinstate the programme in the interests of the people of Burundi and their security. I hope that the Government will listen to the compassionate voice of the Select Committee, and reinstate the programme. “
The Committee recommended:
- The UK Department for International Development should reconsider its decision to end its bilateral aid programme in Burundi.
- There should be more investment in development progress in Burundi especially agriculture, to increase trade.
- The regional dimension to the conflicts in the Great Lakes should be fully recognised, including the fragile security in Burundi and more investment was needed to improve the situation in the country.
- If the UK Government ended the bilateral programme it should ensure there was a clear exit strategy.
- The UK Government should continue to be an active advocate for Burundi in international fora.