Switzerland offers aid for Burundi's decentralization program

19 Apr 2012

Switzerland offers aid for Burundi's decentralization program

BUJUMBURA, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- Switzerland will provide 6 million Swiss francs (about 6.5 million U.S. dollars) to Burundi's decentralization program, the Burundian finance and development planning minister has announced.

Tabu Abdallah Manirakiza, speaking after signing the deal with Swiss resident director to Burundi Claudio Tognola here Tuesday, said it was the third such donation and would help fund the program for the next three years.

"The donation will continue the decentralization of public services in the country's northern provinces of Kayanza and Kirundo," Manirakiza said.

He said the program was aimed at strengthening governance at all levels and providing micro-loans to local farming organizations.

Besides supporting government services in charge of decentralization, a part of the donation would also go to the Ombudsman's office and civil society organizations, including the Forum for Strengthening Burundian Civil Society, the Association of Elected Local Leaders and Twitezimbere, Manirakiza said.

"This donation proves the good relations we have with Switzerland," the minister said.

Tognola said: "We will continue to back Burundi's decentralization program because it's through decentralization that democracy is built."