Germany has granted Burundi 9.5 million euros (US $11.1 million) for a one-year programme aimed at reducing poverty across the country by providing safe drinking water, fighting HIV/AIDS and promoting peace and reconciliation, a German government official said on Wednesday in Berlin.
The spokeswoman at the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Barbara Wieland, said the grant would cover the period from December 2005 to December 2006 and would prioritise water projects.
She said Germany would support reforms in Burundi's judiciary, conflict prevention and human rights programmes in an effort to promote peace and reconciliation in the country that is recovering from 12 years of civil war.
"The [grant] renewal for 2007 can be negotiated in 2006," Wieland said.
She added that Wednesday's grant would be disbursed in phases, with the first phase paid in December.
The latest grant follows another of 17 million euros ($19.9 million) Germany gave Burundi in November when it officially resumed cooperation with the central African nation.
The grants follow positive political developments in Burundi. In September, the country completed its transition to democracy with the election of a new president, Pierre Nkurunziza, whose policies have been widely welcomed by Burundi's development partners. Germany had suspended its cooperation with Burundi in 1993 following the outbreak of civil war.
"Nkurunziza has sent all the positive signals that the donors were expecting from him including a free and fair election, his woman-friendly government and his priorities policies of education and reconciliation", Amadeu Altafaj, the EU spokesman told IRIN on Tuesday from Brussels, where Nkurunziza was on a four-day official visit.
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