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EU announces new development support for Burkina Faso

Commission Européenne - IP/13/1031   07/11/2013

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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 7 November 2013

EU announces new development support for Burkina Faso

During a visit to Burkina Faso, the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced that bilateral aid of up to €623 million would be allocated to Burkina Faso for the period 2014-20 (subject to final approval by the Council and the European Parliament). Burkina Faso remains one of the ten least developed countries in the world. European Union cooperation should therefore focus on food security and sustainable agriculture, strengthening the rule of law, and health.

Commissioner Piebalgs made the announcement during a joint visit to the Sahel region with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dlamini Zuma, the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, and the EU's Special Representative for the Sahel, Ambassador Michel Reveyrand de Menthon.

Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: 'I would like to reiterate our commitment to security and sustainable and inclusive development in Burkina Faso. The European Union is prepared to support the country's efforts to achieve equitable growth that can have a real impact on the completely unacceptable level of poverty among the population. Together we must do our utmost to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and in particular to tackle the deep-rooted causes of food insecurity.'

During his visit Commissioner Piebalgs will meet the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, and the Prime Minister, Luc-Adolphe Tiao, to discuss the main challenges facing the country, the aid proposed under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014-20 and the inclusion of Burkina Faso in the Sahel Strategy.

Mr Piebalgs will also use this opportunity to discuss the new Global Alliance for the Resilience Initiative (AGIR), a strategy for increasing the resilience of population groups in the Sahel which includes Burkina Faso. A roadmap has been drawn up with the aim of creating seasonal social safety nets to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable people in the fragile region of the Sahel.

Background

Despite strong growth of 8% in 2012, Burkina Faso still suffers from chronic poverty (a third of the population lives below the poverty line) and profound social inequality.

Its situation is particularly uncertain because of regional insecurity, and specifically the crisis in northern Mali, and the general instability of the Sahel sub-region.

European Union cooperation with Burkina Faso under the 10th EDF for the period 2007-13 concentrated primarily on:

reinforcing basic infrastructure and interconnectivity;

supporting good democratic and economic governance;

supporting basic social sectors (education and health in particular).

In addition, the European Union supports many projects carried out directly on the ground via NGOs and multilateral organisations in the rural development and food and nutritional security sectors.

The European Union also assists the country through the emergency aid granted by ECHO (the European Commission's humanitarian aid office) in three main sectors: health/nutrition, food security and aid to refugees.

The European Union has suggested that Burkina Faso should benefit more directly from the Sahel Strategy, which aims to help the countries of the Sahel sub-region to guarantee their security in order to facilitate economic growth while also reducing poverty.

Results of EU cooperation in Burkina Faso

  • Global budget support has contributed significantly to the development of the health and education sectors:

    • The health budget increased by 30% between 2007 and 2011;

    • The rate of assisted births rose from 65% to 82% between 2008 and 2012, helping to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality rates;

    • The school enrolment rate for girls rose from 67% to 78% between 2008 and 2012.

  • The proportion of the population with access to drinking water increased from 55% in 2009 to 63% in 2012 in rural areas and from 72% in 2009 to 84% in 2012 in urban areas;

  • 85 000 households, equivalent to over 500 000 poor and vulnerable people, have been helped by the EU's food security programme to cope with the food crisis and sharply rising prices.

For more information

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

For more information about the EU strategy for security and development in the Sahel click here

IP/12/1052: EU puts resilience at the heart of its work on fighting hunger and poverty

IP/13/1013: EU reinforces its support for the Sahel in the years to come

Cooperation with Burkina Faso:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/acp/country-cooperation/burkina-faso/burkina-faso_en.htm

AGIR: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/policies/resilience/agir_en.htm

Contacts:

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)


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