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COMMUNIQUE FROM THE GOVERNMENT FOLLOWING THE REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS ON THE HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE PLAN FOR BURUNDI 2018

1. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) held a meeting on Monday, 19 February 2018, where it presented the Report on the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Burundi, which would be aimed at alleviating the suffering of affected populations, and whose situation is presented in an alarming way.
The same report claims that this Plan was prepared in a participatory and exhaustive manner in consultation with the Government of Burundi and the donors.

2. While appreciating this initiative by the humanitarian community to help those in need, especially those in emergency situations, the Government of Burundi regrets that, contrary to what is claimed, this report and the census of persons in a needy situation, as well as the figures advanced have never been the object of collaboration with Ministries directly concerned by humanitarian issues, namely the Ministries of the Interior, Agriculture, Health as well as Human Rights.

3. Since the Government has provided significant resources to invest in projects aimed at improving the well-being of rural populations in particular, it is surprised by the figures put forward in an exaggerated way by OCHA, and this is unfortunately not for the first time. The Government is all the more astonished that the situation of 2018 is better than in 2017 in view of the efforts made in the agricultural sector, in the field of health, reception and integration of repatriated refugees, and results are very significant.

4. In fact, this investment bears fruits in terms of food self-sufficiency thanks to the fertilizer subsidy policy, free health care for children and pregnant women, not to mention the spirit of national solidarity through the assistance of people in need in case of natural disasters.
The Government expects its partners to focus much more on Development Aid than on Humanitarian Aid, as the President of the Republic emphasized in his 2018 New Year Message to the Nation.

5. The Government of Burundi therefore rejects the contents of this unilaterally drafted report and asks the persons in charge of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to contact the sectorial Ministers directly concerned by the humanitarian issues referred to in paragraph 2 and any other officials who may contribute to address them for the preparation of a consensual and reliable report that will guide effective collaboration in the interest of the common objectives with OCHA.

Done at Bujumbura on February 21, 2018

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
AND SPOKESMAN OF THE GOVERNMENT,

Philippe NZOBONARIBA.

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