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Burundi

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of (a) political stability and (b) the humanitarian situation in Burundi. [106928]

Despite the 2 December 2002 ceasefire agreement with the FDD, fighting continues in Burundi. Moreover the FNL still remain outside the peace process. We welcome President Buyoya's decision to step down on 1 May, thereby honouring the provisions of the Arusha Accord settingup the transitional government. The early deployment of the African mission force is central to achieving a full ceasefire and the smooth transition of power after the 1 May handover. The UK is working actively within the UN and with regional leaders to achieve this and we are ready to contribute to the costs involved.The humanitarian situation in Burundi is very poor, with very high levels of disease, high rates of malnutrition and, resulting from this, high levels of mortality. There are serious problems of access to some communities. DFID committed £1.9 million to Burundi last financial year, made up of £1 million in humanitarian interventions and £0.9 million for peace building activities. Our humanitarian interventions have focused on nutrition and health support, channelled through international NGOs and UN agencies. The EC provided humanitarian funding totalling US$ 15.7 million (about £10.12 million) in 2002. The 2003 Community budget for humanitarianassistance totals US$ 15 million (about £9.67 million).