UK Aid to Rwanda - International Development Committee Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

The decision to reinstate budget support

1.  None of the above appears to back up the claims that the former Secretary of State was a "rogue" minister acting without the knowledge of the Foreign Secretary or the approval of the Prime Minister. However, the former Secretary of State told us he judged that Rwanda had moved significantly against two of the three conditions set down by the Prime Minister. We are not privy to all the information and advice upon which he made this judgement. However, on the basis of the other evidence which we received, we do not understand how he concluded that Rwandan support for M23 had ceased. (Paragraph 22)

The decision in December

2.  Rwanda is making significant progress towards the Millennium Development Goal targets and is lifting people out of poverty. We have seen for ourselves the tremendous improvements that Rwanda has made since 1994 and consider that general budget support has proved effective in reducing poverty in Rwanda. For this reason, we think that UK aid should continue to benefit the people of Rwanda. However questions arise about the best method to deliver it. (Paragraph 26)

3.  We do not believe that Rwanda has met the Prime Minister's conditions and we recommend that the second tranche of general budget support should not be provided in December. (Paragraph 27)

4.  In the light of the Memorandum of Understanding, and the partnership principles contained therein, the conditions the Prime Minister set for the resumption of general budget support—the Rwanda should 1) engage constructively in the peace process, 2) publicly condemn the M23 group and 3) there should be a continuing ceasefire in the Kivus and practical support to the M23 should end—are not unreasonable. We recommend that the before further general budget support is disbursed the Government must ensure Rwanda unambiguously complies with all three of the Prime Minister's conditions—general budget support should not be provided if Rwanda is providing support to the M23 rebels. Until these conditions are met in full, DFID should deliver its aid through alternative channels. (Paragraph 28)

5.  We also recommend that DFID consult formally, at ministerial level, with other donors before making a decision to reinstate general budget support. While we understand that the UK Government will make its own decision, it is important that there is some donor coordination of response, even if those responses differ. Donors will need to consider the impact of their individual and cumulative decisions on different sectors. DFID has committed to work with other development partners to improve alignment and harmonisation of development assistance in the Memorandum of Understanding and we expect to see evidence of this. (Paragraph 29)

The future: Regional peace processes

6.  Continuing unrest in the region threatens to undermine DFID's large aid programmes there. The UK Government should give a higher priority to the regional peace process. (Paragraph 30)

The future: Renewed emphasis on human rights

7.  We welcome the Secretary of State's plan to have a more structured dialogue with international and local human rights organisations with experience and knowledge of the situation in Rwanda, and to engage formally with the FCO's human rights process. We look forward to receiving regular updates from the Secretary of State on these issues. DFID is the second largest bilateral donor in Rwanda and, consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding, it can, and should, play a leadership role in encouraging human rights reforms. (Paragraph 33)

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2012
Prepared 30 November 2012