The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice‑President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, is visiting N'Djamena in Chad today to discuss bilateral cooperation with the Government and the regional partnership at the 3rd ‘Sahel G5’ summit, which she was invited to attend by the Heads of State of the ‘Sahel G5’ countries.
During the visit, five development cooperation programmes worth €101 million were launched.
‘The European Union stands alongside Chad to strengthen its political stability and meet the needs of its people. Today our relations also go beyond bilateral cooperation. We are working together for peace, the fight against extremism and regional stability. We are partners in the Sahel G5. We remain determined to make the Sahel an area of peace, development and stability. Following the Valletta summit, it is vital to maintain a strong and constructive dialogue with our African partners if we are to see tangible results for Europe and for Africa’, said Ms Mogherini.
In a statement, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: ‘Through this new support package, the European Union is addressing Chad's urgent needs and helping it to meet the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative) completion point. In addition to our budget support, our cooperation will strengthen our support to the most vulnerable groups and young people in the most deprived regions.’
The new funding is the first instalment of the indicative allocation of EUR 442 million to Chad under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014-2020.
EU cooperation with Chad under the 11th EDF has two strategic objectives: firstly, to assist the country in its development by supporting the sustainable management of its natural resources and by focusing on the most vulnerable sections of the population and young people; secondly, to contribute to the consolidation of peace and the implementation of reforms in order to strengthen governance.
Against the current background of economic and security shocks in Chad, an initial allocation from the support package, totalling EUR 22 million, will contribute to balancing the 2015 budget and protecting essential social expenditure, while at the same time maintaining the momentum of reforms to public-finance management. This budget support will take the form of a ‘State-building contract’. The second part of this exceptional aid package, amounting to EUR 28 million, is intended to facilitate access to drinking water and sanitation, and to support Chad's transport policy.
In addition to this package, the European Union will provide a total of EUR 51 million to support food security, nutrition and rural development, natural resource management and consolidation of the rule of law. More specifically, this will entail the implementation of four cooperation programmes: support for structuring pastoral development (EUR 20 million), a project to support the justice system (EUR 15 million), a project to support civil society (EUR 12 million) and a project to provide technical support for cooperation (EUR 4 million).
EU-Sahel G5 relations
The Sahel G5 is an institutional framework for the coordination and monitoring of regional cooperation in the area of security and development policies by five Sahel countries: Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. Ms Mogherini previously met the Foreign Ministers of the Sahel G5 on 17 June in Brussels.
The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative
The IMF and the World Bank launched the HIPC Initiative in 1996 in order to ensure that no country faces a debt burden that it cannot manage. Since then, the international financial community, including multilateral institutions and national authorities, has been working towards reducing the external debt of the most heavily indebted poor countries to a sustainable level.