Anglican Alliance welcomes parliamentary report backing U.K. aid for Burundi

October 31, 2011

The Anglican Alliance has welcomed a report from the International Development Select Committee which recommends the U.K. government to reconsider its decision to cut its aid program to Burundi, according to a recent press release.

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 U.K. government should reinstate its £13.7 million (US$21.9 million) program, and said that the closure decision was inconsistent with the U.K. Department for International Development's poverty focus, and undermined its investment in other countries in the region.

Anglican Archbishop of Burundi Bernard Ntahoturi gave evidence to the select committee at a meeting in London in July 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.

Sally Keeble, Anglican Alliance director, welcomed the report and urged the government to accept its findings. "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," she said. "This report makes the clear case to reinstate the program 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 program."

The committee recommended:

  • The U.K. Department for International Development should reconsider its decision to end its bilateral aid program 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 recognized, including the fragile security in Burundi and more investment was needed to improve the situation in the country;
  • If the U.K. government ended the bilateral program it should ensure there was a clear exit strategy;
  • The U.K. government should continue to be an active advocate for Burundi in international fora.

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