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The European Commission has announced additional funding of three million euros for the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), an on-going initiative in several countries of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to help reduce trafficking in drugs and other illicit products, thanks to more effective, well-connected counter-narcotic activities. This includes connecting the participating airports to international databases and communication networks and promoting intelligence and information sharing. European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said: "Organised crime, drug trafficking and the damage that they bring are a global problem that requires a strong and coordinated response". So far, thanks to this programme more than 355 kg of cocaine and 1120 kg of cannabis were seized, among other results. With today's announcement, the European Commission has contributed almost €8 million to the AIRCOP project.
The European Union is increasing by an additional €8 million its efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This is the fourth increase of EU assistance for this crisis. It brings the Commission's aid in 2014 to fight the Ebola epidemic, which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern", to €11.9 million. In addition, a second "European mobile laboratory" will be deployed in the coming days, most likely to Sierra Leone, to provide essential support to diagnostics and testing.
The first ever EU programme in development and cooperation that covers Africa as a whole, called "Pan-African Programme", has today been launched with an allocation of €415 million for this first phase (2014-2017). Welcoming the initiative, EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said: "The major innovation of this programme is that it allows the EU to link up the cooperation it has with Northern Africa, South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa".
The EU is about to launch its first ever multi-donor development trust fund, in support of the Central African Republic (CAR). With an initial amount of €64 million the fund creates an effective and coordinated international instrument to help the population of the country and contribute to its stabilisation.
At the closure of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), held at UN Headquarters in New York from 30 June to 9 July 2014, Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development, and Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for the Environment, welcomed its conclusions.
Every once in a while, I meet people who ask me, ‘ why does the EU spend part of taxpayers’ money abroad, when there are so flagrant needs within its own borders?’ Personally, I do not share this concern as I can witness on a regular basis during my visits to partner countries what EU […]