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IP/10/919

Brussels, 12 July 2010

EU allocates €150 million to war-affected populations in Sudan

The Commission welcomes the decision taken by the Council today to allocate an amount of €150 million to war-affected populations in Sudan. This decision will allow the EU to assist the Sudanese most in need despite the Government of Sudan's decision not to ratify the revised Cotonou agreement – the political framework of EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries' relations. Refusal to ratify the revised Cotonou agreement has made it legally impossible for the EU to channel development assistance to Sudan through the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). In order to bridge the financing gap, the EU decided to use global funds that were not spent from the 9th EDFs.

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton said: "Sudan is now at a critical juncture. The EU wants to see the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement as the way forward to a better future for the population of Sudan. At the same time we call for an all inclusive process that will lead to a comprehensive peace agreement In Darfur."

Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner responsible for Development said: "The international community has a crucial role to play in promoting stability and development in Sudan. The EU's decision today proves we remain committed to the Sudanese population and the stability of Sudan."

The €150 million will be used to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations in Sudan, in particular in the war-affected areas, including the South of Sudan and Darfur, in the border regions between North and South Sudan (the Transitional Areas) and in East Sudan. The funding complements ongoing development and humanitarian programmes in Sudan, including over €500 million in development assistance committed since 2005 and over €750 million in humanitarian assistance since 2003. In addition, the European Commission has adopted an Instrument for Stability decision (€15 million) for the provision of basic services in South Sudan and support to the referendum process.

Background:

The EU has a continued political and financial engagement in Sudan, including through development and humanitarian assistance, for the benefit of the Sudanese population. However, the Government of Sudan decided not to ratify the revised Cotonou Agreement, thereby losing access to the 10th European Development Fund (EDF); which envisaged a total allocation of EUR 294.9 million. Today's decision - adopted by the Council on the proposal of the Commission - aims at providing vital assistance to the Sudanese most in need, while respecting the EU's international engagements and its support for the International Criminal Court.


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