In response to the UK government’s decision on 1 March 2013 to re-programme £16 million aid to Rwanda, Christian Aid has welcomed the fact the assistance will once again be reaching the poorest and most vulnerable in the African country.
The churches' global development agency says it is also pleased that DfID (the Department for International Development) has recognised that Rwanda has breached the principles that guide the UK-Rwanda long-term partnership.
Chantal Daniels, Great Lakes Policy and Advocacy Officer at Christian Aid, commented: "We encourage the re-programming of aid (straight to local groups rather than via the government) so that it reaches those in need and most affected by aid cuts. But we would stress that any decision on aid to Rwanda should come with a clear signal that violations by the Rwandan Government are unacceptable."
"The Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Rwanda needs to be strongly monitored so that both sides adhere to it. The UK Government should continue to publicly condemn any violations of that agreement," she added.
"As a major donor, the UK needs to use its influence to contribute to solutions to the unrest in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region, by actively supporting the Peace and Security Framework that was signed last Sunday in Addis Ababa. It takes into account DRC specific and regional commitments.
"These efforts need to come with a redefined relationship with Rwanda that not only focuses on dealing with Rwanda’s involvement in the current crisis in DRC, and its role in the region, but also examines the internal political situation, in which democratic space and respect for human rights are increasingly under pressure.
"We are pleased to hear [minister] Justine Greening’s statement, which sets out how the money will reach the poorest but we would also welcome a timeline on future aid decisions and the conditions for resumption of general budget support to Rwanda," concluded Ms Daniels.