UN advisory group on Burundi calls for selfreliance in food production

With food security a major challenge in post-conflict Burundi, the country’s authorities should rehabilitate the agricultural sector and address the question of access to land, a high-level United Nations advisory group says in a report.The Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Burundi was mandated to assess the humanitarian and economic needs of the African Great Lakes country and advise the international community on offering assistance that would be “adequate, coherent, well coordinated and effective” and synergistic.”The Group stresses that ensuring food security remains a major challenge for the country and that dependence on food aid should be gradually reduced through promotion of self-reliance at the community level,” it says. “It calls on the authorities of Burundi to intensify efforts to rehabilitate the agricultural sector.”It also appeals to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to aid the country in this effort.The Group notes that after 10 years of ethnic conflict, Burundi’s Transitional Government faces enormous humanitarian, economic ands social challenges and has the highest proportion of displaced people of any African nation.”The group recommends that the Government, in view of the already high population density and the expected need to resettle large numbers of returning refugees and internally displaced persons, address the issue of access to land,” the report states.The Group, which was chaired by South Africa, also recommends that the Government include traditional conflict resolution mechanisms in its efforts to maintain peace.

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