Burundi has identified six priority development goals which it said would require up to $1.1 billion in foreign aid to achieve by 2015.
The request for international assistance was made Oct. 29 by Burundi Second Vice President Gervais Rufyikiri at a donors’ conference hosted by the U.N. Development Program in Switzerland. The conference — attended by representatives from key donors, development partners and U.N. agencies — ends Oct. 30.
The money, according to Rufyikiri, will finance development projects and other initiatives needed to meet the six objectives of the country’s second Strategic Framework for Growth and Poverty Reduction. This plan covers the period 2012-15 and builds on the first framework, which focused on governance, private sector development, human capital development, gender equality and business climate improvement.
The six objectives in the new strategy are population control, agriculture development, public spending reforms, private sector engagement, energy sector development and institutional development. These priorities are designed to meet existing challenges in the country, such as food insecurity, malnutrition and high energy demand.
According to Rufyikiri, Burundi aims to generate at least 48 percent of the $2.1 billion total budget needed to finance the plan. He said the country hopes to mobilize the rest of the money from its development partners, the Voice of America says.
Burundi, Rufyikiri added, is worthy of foreign aid given its progress in stabilizing the country and improving socioeconomic conditions since 2006, when the government signed a peace deal with rebel groups.
Burundi, a small country in sub-Saharan Africa, is not among the top recipients of official development assistance in Africa. In 2010, it received some $635 million in aid from bilateral and multilateral sources — significantly smaller than the $1 billion to $3 billion secured by top recipients like Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi’s neighbor, Tanzania.
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