The EU is launching its first development trust fund in support of the Central African Republic (CAR). Starting with €59 million, the fund will help the transition from emergency humanitarian aid to longer-term development assistance. It will invest in the reconstruction of state functions, the restart of electricity, transport, health and education and in stabilisation. It will also help CAR's neighbouring countries which are struggling with the spill-over from this crisis.
"Linking relief, rehabilitation and development is essential if we want to make a long-term difference in a fragile situation like the CAR crisis. The trust fund will benefit the long-suffering population of the country, and will also contribute to reducing the fragility caused by this crisis in the wider region," said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
The initial contributions to the trust fund are made by the European Development Fund, the EU humanitarian aid budget and the governments of France, Germany and the Netherlands. The fund's work comes in addition to the Commission's vital humanitarian assistance to CAR (€84.5 million since December 2012).
Following the escalation of inter-communal violence in the beginning of December 2013, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Central African Republic (CAR) is estimated at 535 000 Central Africans. Around 110 000 are reported in the capital Bangui. Over half of the 4.6 million population of the country is in immediate need of aid. More than a quarter of the population is in risk of food insecurity.
There are huge protection concerns for all civilians. Aid workers are equally affected. A rapid restoration of security is vital to ensure conditions in which relief organisations can operate unhindered. The security situation remains extremely volatile and unpredictable. Violence, looting and killings are ongoing against communities in Bangui and mainly in north-west part of the country.
The crisis has forced an estimated 146 000 people since December 2013 into Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo bringing the number of Central African refugees in neighbouring countries to more than 388 000 people.