EU reaffirms its support to peace and security in Africa with €300 million
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.
Operations financed through the African Peace Facility
Ongoing operations, financed through the APF, are the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Mission for the consolidation of peace in Central African Republic (MICOPAX) and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
In Somalia, the APF funds the African Union Peace Support Operation (AMISOM) which provides support to the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions in their stabilisation efforts and in the pursuit of political dialogue and reconciliation. AMISOM is also mandated to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and to create the necessary conditions for reconstruction, reconciliation and the sustainable development of Somalia.
Since the deployment of AMISOM, the EU has been one of the main funders of the operation both through the African Peace Facility and through bilateral contributions of its Member States. The overall APF contribution to the mission amounts to €208.4 million and covers costs such as allowances, medical care, housing, fuel and communication equipment.
Another example of mediation actions funded through the Facility is the support to the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on Sudan. The initiative has contributed to the mediation process in Sudan and has allowed the inclusion of civil society in the negotiations. The work of the panel has been instrumental in contributing to resolving the conflict in Darfur. The AU mission in Sudan has so far received the largest share of EU funds, with a contribution of €305 million.
African Peace Facility
Originally established by the EU in 2003 in response to a request of the African Union, the APF is an instrument of EU support to the Africa Peace and Security agenda. Over the years it has provided funding to African-led peace support operations (€607 million) and provided significant contributions to the strengthening of African institutional capacities in peace and security at continental and regional level (€100 million) as well as supported a number of mediation activities (€15 million).
The facility is also a major financing instrument of the joint Africa-EU strategy, in particular the partnership on peace and security, adopted in Lisbon in December 2007.
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