Bishop of Durham asks government about development aid to Burundi

Durham161117On the 23rd January 2018 Lord Bruce of Bennachie asked the Government “how much Official Development Assistance they will spend on supporting sustainable public services and good governance in sub-Saharan Africa over the next two years.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question about the recent instability in Burundi.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, given both the recent political instability and the current consultation on reforming the constitution in Burundi, and the forced displacement of more than 400,000 people, how do the Government intend to support sustainable public service through ODA in countries such as Burundi where conflict is preventing the basic functions of governance?

Lord Bates: I pay tribute to the right reverend Prelate for his long-standing work in Burundi and his advocacy for peaceful solutions. We are supporting initiatives there. We are helping the refugees, 400,000 of whom, as he said, have fled to neighbouring countries —Tanzania and Rwanda, for example. We are also supporting democratic institutions leading up to the elections, which we hope will take place in 2020 and offer some hope for stability in that country.