The European Union- EU has approved an action programme that will provide up to Euro 750 million (US$1 billion) to support peace and security in Africa during the period 2014-2016.
The funding first announced by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, at the Africa- EU summit in April, will be channeled through the African Peace Facility (APF) to support the African Union and African sub-regional organizations in their peace and security efforts.
An initial amount of €325 million will be committed for 2014 and funding will rapidly be made available to support ongoing peace operations, a statement issued by the European Commission this afternoon indicates.
With the approval, the African Peace Facility-APF will continue to support African-led peace operations, strengthening of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and quick impact actions aimed at conflict prevention and crisis management.
“Today’s new and significant financial contribution demonstrates the EU’s continued commitment to supporting Africa in its work for peace and security. The funding will allow us to extend the EU’s support that is essential for the success of ongoing African-led peace operations such as AMISOM in Somalia and MISCA in the Central African Republic,” Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development stated.
The new action programme also introduces simplified and swifter decision-making procedures for extending or renewing support to on-going peace operations or support to the APSA.
Through the African Peace Facility (APF), the EU has contributed more than Euros 1.2 billion since 2004 to help finance many ongoing Africa-led Peace Support-Operations: more than Euros 575 million have been committed so far to AMISOM in Somalia, Euros 50 million to MISCA in Central African Republic (CAR) and Euros 2 million for the Regional Cooperation Initiative against the Lord’s Resistance Army. Euros 443.7 million were provided to six completed missions in Sudan, the Comoros, CAR and Mali.
The APF does not fund military equipment, arms, ammunition or military training. In peace operations, the APF typically covers allowances for the troops, salaries for civilians as well as logistical, transport, medical and communication costs.
The facility has also supported a number of activities in mediation and conflict prevention. It has been used, for example, to support a joint verification mechanism which aims at restoring trust between the Democratic Republic of Congo and its neighbors through patrolling, monitoring and reporting.
Furthermore, the APF has contributed to a more comprehensive political dialogue between the EU and Africa in the area of peace and security.