In recent weeks, the Government of Burundi and representatives of the armed group Palipehutu-FNL have taken important steps forward in the peace process. The increase in Norway’s support to the country is intended to help Burundi meet its economic obligations during a very difficult and decisive period.
Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solhiem, commented: “We are very pleased about the political breakthrough in negotiations. Norway wishes to support this important process. What we are now doing is to indicate to the parties that the international community is ready to provide further support for Burundi. We are rewarding good political decisions. Without additional support from the international community, Burundi would have no economic security net for the many poor people in the country.”
After many years of internal conflicts, Burundi is still in a difficult economic situation.
Norway has increased its development cooperation with Burundi in recent years in order to support the peace process in the country. In connection with these efforts, Norway has established an embassy branch office in the capital, Bujumbura. Since 2006, Norway has also led the efforts of the UN Peacebuilding Commission in Burundi. Mr Solheim took part in a major international donor conference in Burundi in May 2007 together with Bert Koenders, Minister for Development Cooperation in the Netherlands, among others.