The European Union, already a major partner of the Central African Republic (CAR), is increasing its financial support to the country which is still living with the impact of recent conflict.
To draw international attention and support for the CAR, an international conference is taking place in Brussels today, focusing on the country’s humanitarian needs, recovery and resilience-building. High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini is hosting the event together with the Commissioners for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. The CAR delegation is led by the President of the Central African Republic’s transition government, Catherine Samba-Panza. The participants also include development ministers from France, Germany and the Netherlands, foreign affairs ministers from the Central African region and representatives of international organisations.
High Representative and Vice-President Mogherini commented: “After years of conflict, the people of the Central African Republic deserve a present and a future of peace. Since the beginning of this crisis, we as the EU have been by their side to help bring recovery, stability and development to the country. The recent Bangui Forum has launched a process towards national reconciliation which is led by Central Africans themselves; with today’s conference, we reaffirm our commitment, together with our international partners, to support them on their path towards recovery and peace”.
At the event, the European Commission will increase its assistance for the CAR with a total of €72 million. This includes humanitarian aid (with €10 million of fresh funding), budget support (with an addition of €40 million) and new contribution to the EU Trust Fund for the CAR (€22 million extra). In addition, the first results of the EU Trust Fund for CAR (called Bêkou which means “hope” in Sango, the country’s main language) will be presented at today’s conference, along with the fund’s future prospects.
“We live in turbulent times where new crises hit anytime and anywhere. But our attention must not shift from ongoing humanitarian crises such as this one. The people of the CAR continue to need our help to survive and rebuild their lives,” explained Commissioner Stylianides.
“The Bêkou Fund has created strong synergies between international partners to help the Central African authorities to get out of the crisis it has endured, to reinforce the state and to restablish peace and security. I am very happy with the speed with which the Bêkou Fund has been set up, which shows how much the EU and its partners were aware of the need to react urgently to the crisis. The conference today is an opportunity to highlight the stabilisation process of the CAR and to show the international solidarity for it,” said Commissioner Mimica.
Further announcements are also expected to strengthen further the EU’s financial support.
The Central African Republic has been in the grip of a crisis since 2013 and the state, economic and social structures need to be completely rebuilt.
The European Union has already mobilised €377 million in 2013-2014 from all instruments at its disposal to help the country. In addition to generous humanitarian aid in response to this crisis, the EU has taken a leading role in the international efforts to bring about recovery and resilience-building. The EU, working with France, Germany and the Netherlands, launched the first European Trust Fund in July 2014: the Bêkou Trust Fund for the Central African Republic.
With an original funding of €74 million, the EU Trust Fund has already committed more than €47million. The objective of the Bêkou Trust Fund is to support actions linking humanitarian response to reconstruction and mid-term development programmes.
Source: European Union