Burundi + 1 more

The Closure of DFID's Bilateral Aid Programme in Burundi: Government Response to the Committee's Tenth Report of Session 2010–12

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SECRET ADVICE COMPROMISES GOVERNMENT’S DECISION ON BURUNDI

GOV RESPONSE: CLOSURE OF DFID’S AID PROGRAMME IN BURUNDI

The Government has failed to provide the International Development Committee with a full explanation of why it did not accept the proposal to scale up the Burundi programme to make it viable which was put forward by the DFID Burundi office

Malcolm Bruce MP, Chairman of the International Development Committee said:

“I have written to the Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell to express my disappointment that the that the Government disagrees with our main recommendation that it reconsider its decision to end its bilateral programme in Burundi.”

“The Government still has not provided us with a full explanation of why it did not accept the proposal to scale up the Burundi programme to make it viable which was put forward by the DFID Burundi office in its submission of June 2010 to the Bilateral Aid Review. DFID was unable to show us the unredacted submission, even in confidence. Our analysis is only as good as the evidence on which it is based and DFID has not fully explained the reasoning behind this decision.”

“I am also disappointed that the Government response comments on the way particular Members voted. Government responses do not normally do this, nor should they. The report was not unanimous, and there is no need for further comment.”

The Committee did welcome parts of the Government Response, in particular the acceptance of the Committee’s recommendation on the need to ensure a responsible exit strategy, including continued support for Burundi through regional and multilateral channels. It also welcomes the Government’s willingness to consider creating a programme to help Burundi take advantage of regional integration initiatives such as Trade Mark East Africa.

BACKGROUND:

The letter from the Chairman of the Committee to the Secretary of State for International Development is attached:

Dear Andrew

The International Development Committee welcomes the Government’s response to the Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2010-12 on The Closure of DFID’s Bilateral Aid Programme in Burundi.

Naturally, we are disappointed that the Government disagrees with our main recommendation that it reconsider its decision to end its bilateral programme in Burundi, but are pleased both that you agree about the need to ensure a responsible exit strategy, including continued support for Burundi through regional and multilateral channels, and that the Government is willing to consider creating a programme to help Burundi take advantage of regional integration initiatives such as Trade Mark East Africa.

However, we do have a number of concerns. Government responses do not normally, nor should they, comment on the way particular Members voted. The report was not unanimous, and there is no need for further comment.

We would also like to point out that the Government still has not provided us with a full explanation of why it did not accept the proposal to scale up the Burundi programme to make it viable which was put forward by the DFID Burundi office in its submission of June 2010 to the Bilateral Aid Review. As you will recall, you felt you were unable to show us the unredacted submission, even in confidence. Our analysis is only as good as the evidence on which it is based and DFID has not fully explained the reasoning behind this decision.

Yours sincerely Malcolm Bruce

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Committee Membership is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP, Chair (Lib Dem, Gordon), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab, City of York), Richard Burden MP (Lab, Birmingham, Northfield), Sam Gyimah MP (Con, East Surrey), Richard Harrington MP (Con, Watford), Pauline Latham MP (Con, Mid Derbyshire), Jeremy Lefroy MP (Con, Stafford), Michael McCann MP (Lab, East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow), Alison McGovern MP (Lab, Wirral South), Anas Sarwar MP (Lab, Glasgow Central), Chris White MP (Con, Warwick and Leamington).

Specific Committee Information: indcom@parliament.uk/ 020 7219 1223/ 020 7219 1221

Media Information: daviesnick@parliament.uk/ 020 7219 3297

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/indcom