VILLAGE URUGWIRO - Douglas Alexander, the British Secretary of State for International Development, has praised Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) governments for their recent efforts to improve relations.
He stressed this late Wednesday, shortly after meeting President Paul Kagame at Urugwiro Village where they discussed UK-Rwanda development partnership and regional issues.
“I paid tribute to the work of the government of Rwanda and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo who in recent weeks have strengthened their bilateral relationship,” Alexander told reporters after meeting the President.
He explained that their discussions dwelt on the “continuing progress and challenges” within Rwanda, a country which they as a “firm friend.”
Alexander also made it clear that his discussions with Kagame also dwelt on what he considered as the continuing challenge of bringing peace and a political solution to the conflict in the eastern DRC.
“I urged continued commitment to the process being taken forward in the days to come in Nairobi and shared with the President the experiences that I have had every other day in Goma where I have seen the immense cost of human suffering of the latest conflict,” he said.
“It is vital that a political solution is found in eastern DRC,” he emphasised, underlining that there is “a heavy responsibility” on all the parties to that conflict and all the countries in the region to strive to find a peaceful solution, which everyone wishes to see.
According to a DFID statement seen by The New Times Wednesday, UK’s bilateral programme has provided around pound 380 million to Rwanda over the past 10 years and they at present provide bilateral assistance totalling pound 46 million each year, of which at least pound 31 million is provided as direct budget support.
The focus of UK bilateral support is on poverty alleviation with special emphasis on growth, education, health and governance.
The Department for International Development (DFID) is the part of the UK Government that manages Britain’s aid to poor countries. It works to get rid of extreme poverty.