The Anglican Church in Burundi reports that a fire has devastated the central marketplace in the capital city of Bujumbura. The 27 January 2013 conflagration destroyed hundreds of businesses and left an unknown number of people dead
“In a country rated as the poorest in the world, where inflation is estimated at 9.7 per cent the fire will inevitably have a significant effect on the country’s already fragile economy. As people are trying to make a living by selling goods and items along the roadsides prices are steadily increasing on basic commodities such as rice and beans, the staple diet of many. The tragedy will also have an impact on other African countries, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda from where fabrics and food items sold in the market originate,” the church wrote on its Facebook page.
Attempts to fight the fire were sporadic. The church reported the government was only able to provide two fire engines to fight the blaze, while a third vehicle was provided by the UN mission in the country. Neighboring Rwanda sent a helicopter to carry water from Lake Tanganyika to the city, but the church reported the fire burnt out of control “resulting in the loss of hundreds of businesses and livelihoods. A number of people lost their lives as they were trying to save or secure their goods and money from the burning market and from looters.”
The Anglican Church reports the Red Cross, churches and local community groups are working with the government in “response to the crisis. The Province is currently assessing the situation as it unfolds and as needs become more apparent.”
Details on how Anglicans can help are available from the provincial office, the church reports, which can be contacted at: email@example.com
Parliamentary committee urges govt to rethink aid cuts to Burundi: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2011 November 9, 2011Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Burundi, Church of England Newspaper, Development/Economics/Govt Finances.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The House of Commons International Development Committee has urged the Department for International Development (DfID) to reverse its decision to eliminate direct financial aid to Burundi.
On 5 July 2011, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi testified before the committee that cutting support to Burundi would make it an “aid orphan.” Burundi was one of the “poorest countries” in East Africa the Archbishop said and was “also coming out of a 15-year [civil] war.” In 2005, the country emerged from a tribal civil war that killed 300,000 people.
The conflict left the country devastated, with the lowest recorded GDP per capita in the world, at $150 in 2008. Burundi ranks 166th of 169 countries in the UN’s human development index with 81 per cent of the population living below the poverty line.
“I am worried,” the Archbishop said, as there were signs the conflict could reignite. “The people are not at peace. The signs that we see show that, if we are not careful, there might be another war in Burundi, because most of the young people who were demobilised do not have jobs.
In its report, the committee stated: “We strongly question the strategic coherence of greatly increasing UK aid to the whole region while closing DfID’s bilateral programme in Burundi.
“The money for an effective and efficient bilateral programme in Burundi could be found by very small reductions in the increases in funding of the other countries in the region,” it said.
In 2010 Britain gave £13.7m to Burundi, supporting education, health, access to justice, and regional economic integration programmes. The decision to cut support followed a review of aid programmes instituted by Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary.
In March DfID announced it would reduce the number of bilateral aid programmes from 43 to 27. Burundi was dropped, even though DfID said it had “a compelling case for aid”.
“The government has been clear from day one that our priority is to ensure that every penny of taxpayers’ assistance is directed where it has the most impact for poor people and offers best value for money,” the minister said in March when the cuts were announced.
“As part of a set of detailed reviews, we took the tough but responsible decision that Britain is best placed to help Burundi through other routes to tap into the economic growth in the region and to boost trade with its neighbours. A country-to-country programme is not always the most effective way of providing support,” Mr Mitchell said.
The director of the Anglican Alliance, Sally Keeble urged the government to accept the recommendations of the parliamentary committee.
“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. This report makes the clear case to reinstate the programme 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 programme.”
‘Don’t make Burundi an aid orphan’, archbishop tells Parliament: The Church of England Newspaper, July 29, 2011 August 3, 2011Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Burundi, Church of England Newspaper, Development/Economics/Govt Finances.
Tags: Bernard Ntahoturi, Burundi, Save the Children
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi appeared before the House of Commons’ International Development Committee urging a rethink of the Department for International Development’s (DfID) closure of its aid programme in Burundi.
Cutting support to Burundi would make it an “aid orphan,” the Archbishop said on 5 July, as Western support for Africa has been cut sharply in the wake of the global economic downturn.
Committee chairman, the Rt Hon Malcolm Bruce, the member for Gordon (Lib-Dem) opened the meeting asking if the Archbishop could explain why the British government would end support for Burundi’s poor. “Given the fact that Burundi has absolutely clear developmental needs, right across the spectrum by almost any criteria you care to select, why do you think the UK Government decided that it should bring the programme in Burundi to a close and, at the same time, increase the contribution it is making to all the neighbouring countries?,” Mr Bruce asked.
Archbishop Ntahoturi responded that this “question actually is at the core purpose of our visit.”
The DfID has proposed ending its £12 million in aid to the East African nation. Archbishop Ntahoturi noted that “in Burundi is a lot of money” even though the total “given to Burundi by UK standards was relatively small.” It was nonetheless a necessary component in the democratic and economic redevelopment of the country.
Burundi was one of the “poorest countries” in the East African Community the Archbishop said and was “also coming out of a 15 year war.” “We are still suffering from the impact and consequences of war” that ended two years ago, the Archbishop said.
However the peace was fragile. “I am worried,” the Archbishop said, by what he was hearing from the poor that “people are not at peace. The signs that we see show that, if we are not careful, there might be another war in Burundi, because most of the young people who were demobilised do not have jobs.”
Patrick Watt of Save the Children testified before the committee that Burundi made good use of the funds given by the DfID. “Burundi has scored fairly highly” and its programmes provided “value for money” based upon DfID criteria for aid, Mr Watt said. “It was difficult to see why Burundi was having British aid withdrawn.”
Ending British aid will mean “almost 70,000 students-children who will not be able to go to school. That would mean almost 45,000 women who were helped by the maternity services, who will not be assisted. That will mean that justice, in a country that has been at war, the police and others will not be accompanied and not be helped.”
The member for Watford, Mr Richard Harrington (Cons.) questioned the Archbishop’s figures, asking how the withdrawal of £12 million would cause such chaos. The Archbishop responded that “the World Bank, the UN, the EU, the French, the Belgians and the Luxembourgers have never decided, have not told us, that they will take over from what DfID was doing.”
Sweden has “also withdrawn its aid, and other donors are thinking” of pulling out, the Archbishop said. “When the programmes are cut off, there is a void. That void will affect the wellbeing of the people,” Archbishop Ntahoturi said.
Burundi archbishop reelected to second 5-year term: The Church of England Newspaper, July 9, 2010 p 5 July 14, 2010Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Burundi, Church of England Newspaper.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Burundi has reelected Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi to serve a second five-year term as primate of the East African nation’s church.
At a meeting of the House of Bishops held June 23-24 in Gitega, Archbishop Ntahoturi received the unanimous endorsement of the country’s bishops. “This was a sign of appreciation for his leadership in collegiality with other brother bishops and the whole staff of the Province,” a press release from the church said. His second term will commence on July 17.
Educated at Lincoln College, Oxford, Archbishop Ntahoturi served as chief of staff to the President of Burundi before entering the ordained ministry. He has been active in promoting peace within Burundi and reconciling the warring factions in the Congo and across the Great Lakes region. He serves as a member of the WCC’s Central Committee and as chairman of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission for Unity, Faith and Order.
Scenes from Alexandria: Burundi and Rwanda February 20, 2009Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Primates Meeting 2009.
The Archbishop of Burundi July 20, 2008Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Burundi, Lambeth 2008.
The Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi leaving for the bishops retreat at Canterbury Cathedral on the second day of the Lambeth Conference.
The Bishop of Makamba (Burundi) July 17, 2008Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Burundi, Lambeth 2008.
The Rt Rev Martin Nyaboho on the opening day of the Lambeth Conference
Burundi plea on arms shipments: CEN 7.14.08 July 15, 2008Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Burundi, Arms Control/Defense/Peace Issues, Church of England Newspaper, WCC.
The Archbishop of Burundi led a delegation from the World Council of Churches (WCC) last week to Berlin, to press the German government to curtail its shipments of weapons to the developing world.
“Does Germany have to be the EU arms sales champion?” Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi asked State Secretary Christian Schmidt at the Defence Ministry in Berlin on July 1.
Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.
|THE BISHOP of Bujumbura has issued a call for prayer for the strife-torn nation of Burundi after rebels shelled the capital last week, killing 33.
Bishop Pie Ntukamazina reports that on the night of April 17 the city experienced a “terrible shock” as rebels shelled the city with mortar fire for three hours and “simultaneously attacked military positions”.
Heavy weapons including bombs were also used simultaneously in all the quarters of the city for the whole night. Even the following morning, the main streets leading to the town centre were closed until 9:00 am because fighting was still going on,” the bishop said.
Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper’s Religious Intelligence section.