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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 29 September 2014

Central African Republic: EU trust fund starts delivering support to population

The EU is today launching the first three development projects from the EU multi-donor trust fund for the Central African Republic (CAR). The “Bêkou” fund (which means “hope” in Sango, the country’s main language) was created in July by the European Commission, with the support of France, Germany and the Netherlands. The projects will ensure better access to health for 760,000 people, create jobs and rehabilitate damaged infrastructure in the capital, Bangui, as well as empower women and work towards their economic inclusion.

EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, commented: "The EU stands firmly side by side with the people of the Central African Republic during the alarming crisis their country is going through. Just two months after we established the trust fund with our French, German and Dutch partners, we are ready in record time to deliver support on the ground."

The projects will help CAR address its challenges as it emerges from the current humanitarian, political and security crisis, linking humanitarian and development activities. They are based on priorities discussed with the transition authorities of the country.

  1. A health support project will help rebuild the country’s health services. Activities include rehabilitation of infrastructure, training staff, providing stocks of medicine and storing capacities, as well as support to the health ministry.

  2. A second project will improve the economic and social conditions of disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the capital of Bangui. This will be done, for example, by rehabilitating public infrastructure (storm water drains, roads and pavements, water supply network, etc.) as well as by employing locals for public works, combined with training.

  3. The third programme will help women to overcome poverty and the impact of recent conflicts by strengthening their economic and social capacity. Concretely, it will create communal spaces ("Maisons de Femmes") that offer advice and training to women (e.g. on health and nutrition, conflict mediation, literacy training, psychological consultation). Women will also have access to financial services, such as loans, to establish their own economic activities.

EU multi-donor trust fund for CAR “Bêkou”

The EU trust fund for CAR “Bêkou” has an initial budget of €64 million to provide an effective and coordinated international instrument to help the population of the country, contribute to its stabilisation and preparing the transition from emergency response, such as humanitarian aid, towards longer-term development assistance.

The activities will also focus on enabling neighbouring countries to overcome the consequences of the crisis in CAR. High accountability standards will apply in the implementation of this trust fund, considering the particular context in the country. The initial contributions include:

  1. €41 million from the European Commission (€39 million from the European Development Fund and €2 million from the EU Humanitarian Aid budget)

  2. €5 million in 2014, and an additional €5 million envisaged for 2015 from France

  3. €5 million in 2014, and an additional €5 million envisaged for 2015 from Germany

  4. €3 million from the Netherlands

A donor conference is planned for early 2015 to mobilise additional funding. For more details on the trust fund see MEMO/14/483.

Ongoing EU support to the Central African Republic

The European Union has been responding to the crisis in CAR since its outbreak in 2012 with a comprehensive approach that links humanitarian aid with long-term development assistance and also a military operation (EUFOR RCA) that contributes to a secure environment, as authorised by the UN Security Council.

The “Bêkou” fund complements the substantial funding announced by the EU since the beginning of the conflict. This includes €27 million of EU development funds for immediate needs in health and education, in the form of contributions to the United Nations Children’s Rights and Emergency Relief Organisation (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) and €20 million to support the electoral process through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The overall amount of EU development assistance mobilised so far in 2014 alone is €120 million. This comes in addition to the substantial contribution of the European Commission in humanitarian assistance to CAR since December 2012 (€84.5 million).

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

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail


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