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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

EU gives €300 million for peace and security in Africa

The European Commission has decided to replenish the African Peace Facility (APF) with €300 million to support African peace and security actions both at regional and continental levels. The funding will be available to the African Union and African Regional Organisations for the period 2011-2013 in order to support relevant, targeted, continental and regional initiatives in the area of conflict prevention, management and resolution, and peace building.

The Peace Facility provides substantial and predictable funding to African-led peace support operations and relevant capacity building activities for African organisations. It constitutes the major financing instrument of the Africa-EU strategic partnership in Peace and Security.

EU HRVP Cathy Ashton said: "The EU is sparing no effort to support the African Union's work to bring peace to the continent, as this additional contribution demonstrates. We applaud those countries that have mobilised troops for missions supporting peace, such as Amisom in Somalia. However, more effort is still required. We encourage other African countries to step forward and support the AU in this endeavour. And I call on the whole international community to step up their contribution to help build peace and stability in Africa."

"It is estimated that in Africa more than 200 million people currently still live in conflict zones, which prevents efforts to alleviate poverty" said EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, adding: "Security and stability must be ensured to lay the foundations for sustainable development in Africa. The Peace Facility has supported a number of African peace support operations in recent years. Today's decision confirms EU's steadfast support to African organisations in their actions to prevent conflicts and to maintain peace in critical zones ".

In addition to peace operations, the APF supports the African Peace and Security Architecture, which focuses on the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. In this area, approximately €100 million have been earmarked since 2004 for activities aimed at strengthening capacities of African institutions at the continental and regional level.

Source: European Commission