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European Development Fund

Created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument providing Community aid for development cooperation with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP countries) and with the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

The EDF finances any projects or programmes which contribute to the economic, social or cultural development of the countries in question. It consists of several instruments, including grants, risk capital and loans to the private sector.

The EDF is funded by the Member States and does not yet come under the general Community budget. However, the aid granted to OCTs is to be included in the European Union's general budget as of 1 January 2008, while the aid granted to ACP countries will continue to be funded by the EDF, at least for the period 2008-2013.

Each EDF, which generally follows the cycle of the partnership agreements, is concluded for a period of around five years. The ninth EDF (2000-2007) has been allocated 13.5 billion euros, in addition to 9.9 billion euros left over from the previous EDFs. The European Investment Bank's own resources contribution adds a further 1.7 billion euros over the period covered by the ninth EDF.

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