Background and Objective:
For several years, Burundi has been experiencing internal strife and civil war, which have severely affected people’s access to basic services, especially in Cankuzo and Karuzi, the two poorest provinces in the country.
In order to improve the living conditions of the people affected by the war, and to contribute to peace-building in these two regions, the Government of Burundi requested the United Nations to assist in formulating and implementing a programme which would help improve the living conditions and strengthen the capacities of local authorities, CBOs and NGOs in the provinces of Cankuzo and Karuzi and their capitals.
The main objectives of the project are to: Rehabilitate social infrastructure, such as schools and health centres, in Cankuzo and Karuzi; Improve the living conditions of the poor through access to basic infrastructure; Provide employment opportunities in low-income urban communities through the rehabilitation of social infrastructure and micro-credit; and Assist the Government and the municipalities to develop and implement programmes addressing urban poverty alleviation involving the poor, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), the private sector, municipalities and governmental institutions.
- Consultations with stakeholders to formulate a provincial action plan.
- On-the-job training of nationals and local administration staff.
- Sensitization of NGOs and CBOs on their role as keys partners.
- Preparation of biddings documents.
- Selection of companies and qualified NGOs for the construction of basic infrastructure.
Due to the political and institutional instability in the country, the poor security at the two sites of the project and financial constraints, UNCDF has reduced it contribution by 90%. This means that only 2 schools and 2 health centres can be completed, as opposed to the 6 schools and 6 health centres initially planned.
Fund-raising efforts by UN-HABITAT, UNDP and the Government of Burundi have been successful in getting GTZ, Germany's international development cooperation agency, to contribute US$304,463 towards the construction of 2 schools and 2 health centres (one school and one health centre in each of the two provinces).
Using participatory approaches, an action plan and an investment plan were prepared and approved. The provision of a new school and a health centre in each of the two provinces has contributed to improving people's access to education and health in the region. Due to their involvement in the project, the capacity of local NGOs and the private sector in the provinces has also improved.