They made the case to DFID country director Dave Beer for support to be provided through other funding streams for the four – Burundi, Gambia, Lesotho and Niger, which are among the poorest in the world.
The visit by the Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi , Canon Pecaduli Birakegana , provincial secretary, and Sally Keeble, Director of the Anglican Alliance, examined the details of the decision and options for the way forward.
In particular they asked for:
- Some relaxation to the tight guidelines and timetable for applications from the four to the Global Poverty Action fund which provides an alternative source of funds to tackle poverty through NGOs.
- Underspends from country programmes to be reallocated to very poor countries that had lost out in DFID’s recent aid review.
- Continuing discussions with DFID over the shared goals of fighting poverty in small, landlocked and post conflict societies.
- Collaboration with DFID in advocacy and community education especially around access to justice in Burundi.
Sally Keeble said: “This was a constructive and helpful meeting. In the longer term we would like to see these four countries included back into the DFID programme as many of the challenges they face are among the DFID priorities. However, in the meantime, we were able to identify some alternative ways forward to achieve our shared objectives. “