The UN Secretary-General declared Burundi eligible to receive support from the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) on 23 June 2006. To date, the PBF has allocated in total $49.2 million for Burundi, including $35 million for the first Peacebuilding Priority Plan in 2007.
Additional support was provided to emergency situations through the Immediate Response Facility, namely support to the implementation of the Regional Facilitation’s Plan of Action to take further the Burundi peace process; support to first phase of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration (DDR) Process in Burundi; and emergency support to electoral process in Burundi.
More recently, in line with its renewals policy, the PBF decided in May 2011 to contribute $9.2 million to the Programme on the sustainable socio-economic reintegration of the populations affected by the conflict in Burundi in the Provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Buzanza and Cibitoke.
Peacebuilding Priority Plan (2007 – 2010)
The first Plan for $35 million identified the following priority areas:
- Strengthening Rule of Law and the Security Sector;
- Strengthening Rule of Law and the Protection of Human Rights; and
- Property/Land Issues.
Immediate Response Facility allocations
In addition, the Fund provided some key support to the organization and the peaceful holding of the 2010 elections; the DDR process; political dialogue and the security sector reform.
The PBF support has had a catalytic effect in Burundi and helped garner other resources, more sustained support from development agencies and bilateral or multilateral donors. In this connection, the Government of the Netherlands funded the rehabilitation of three military barracks, adding to the 14 already refurbished through PBF resources. Belgium, for its part, has supported the construction of local courts, building on PBF’s earlier action – enabling the construction of 32 lower level courts.
To help address peacebuilding challenges, the PBF has taken important risks, including a sensitization program on human rights standards for the National Intelligence Service (NIS); support for the pre-DDR cantonment process and the disengagement and reintegration of 11,000 adult non-combatants associated with the FNL.
An independent evaluation undertaken in March 2010 cited the following activities as having been particularly successful:
- i. National political dialogue (helping former militias become political parties);
- ii. Making the security forces more professional and “getting them off the streets” (barracks and cantonments);
- iii. Rapid and timely support for reintegration of ex-combatants at the moment to ensure that they join the political process.
The evaluation also stated that the PBF in Burundi developed “several truly innovative peacebuilding projects that made an important contribution to peace consolidation”. It provided quick targeted funding to contribute to several critical drivers of peace – fostering open political dialogue, reform of the security forces, management of land conflicts for returning refugees, access to justice, and the formation of transitional justice mechanisms. It filled critical funding gaps that other donors were not willing or able to fill, and even catalyzed funding by other donors for activities that they had previously deemed risky. It strengthened the UN’s capacity, helping to make it an important and influential actor in Burundi and providing urgent support needed to help it fulfill its Security Council mandates. It helped to improve the strained relationships between the UN and the GoB, as well as between civil society and GoB. It also built the capacity of most national, and some international, actors who were actively involved in the PBF projects, both in the Joint Steering Committee and in various project management teams.
The evaluation also recommended that the PBF develop well researched Guidelines on PBF Program and Project Selection that would articulate the comparative advantage of the PBF and how to select corresponding interventions; develop well researched Guidelines on PBF Program Design and Implementation that would include a description of the characteristics of effective PBF programs; develop well researched Guidelines on PBF Monitoring and Evaluation specifying the best practices in monitoring and evaluation; develop well researched Guidelines on PBF roles and responsibilities clarifying roles and responsibilities of all actors involved in PBF funding and programming.
Renewal tranche (2011)
The post-electoral period is key to consolidating gains of the past years. However, numerous challenges remain, including the sustainable socioeconomic reintegration of populations affected by the war. In this connection and in line with its renewals policy, the PBF decided in May 2011 to contribute $9.2 million to the Programme on the sustainable socio-economic reintegration of the populations affected by the conflict in Burundi. The programme was jointly developed by the Government and the UN and is a “sub-programme” of the National Strategy for the socioeconomic reintegration of the populations affected by the conflict. It focuses in particular on refugees, IDPs, and former combatants with a particular emphasis on gender and youth, and will be incorporated in the PRSP II, currently being finalized.
PBF’s allocation aims at sustaining the reintegration process in the Provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza and Cibitoke. Specific objectives include the strengthening of the social cohesion by promoting local governance; ensuring the socioeconomic reintegration of the target population; reviving productive activities and promoting local entrepreneurship; strengthening national capacities in policy, planning, coordination and monitoring of the reintegration process.
Quarterly reports for each project are available on the MPTF-O Gateway site