2002 - 2006
WHY USAID/OTI WAS IN BURUNDI
USAID/OTI began working in Burundi in March 2002 in response to significant advances in the peace process after nearly a decade of civil war. These advances included the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement (APRA) in August 2000 and the establishment of a transitional government in November 2001.
USAID/OTI'S ROLE IN BURUNDI
USAID/OTI's program goal was to support the transition to peace and democracy as articulated in the APRA by building momentum for the implementation of the accord and by promoting a culture of peace and justice. To achieve this goal, USAID/OTI sought to support:
- Return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes and farms;
- Reintegration of demobilized combatants into their home communities;
- Reconciliation of ethnic groups, refugees, IDPs and remainees in their home communities;
- Building a foundation of conflict mitigation and resolution in communities;
- Effective information flow between the capital and communities of the interior; and
- Local and national elections processes.
- USAID/OTI supported a legislative assistance program to enhance the Burundian legislature's role in promoting peace and reconciliation. The program encouraged representatives to undertake outreach initiatives that increased public dialogue and participation to better inform Burundians on the role of the legislature as a national institution and a catalyst for peace and reconciliation.
- The Burundi Initiative for Peace (BIP) provided a series of small grants to encourage popular support for APRA and for the transitional government. The small grants program worked in targeted geographic areas to support activities that maintained the momentum for peace. This program included public information campaigns that encouraged public participation in the peace process, public outreach grants to bring citizens and their elected representatives together, and community improvement grants to support the rehabilitation of community infrastructure and to present tangible benefits of the peace process.