A landlocked country in the heart of Central Africa, the Central African Republic is rich in natural resources – timber, gold, diamonds and uranium – but still ranks as one of the world's poorest countries. The majority of the population depends on agriculture for its survival.
The Central African Republic (CAR) is a country in crisis and since March 2013 the country knows a catastrophic security situation. An approach of cooperation for the period of transition has just been organised. This package of assistance includes interventions totalling up to €119 million : a project of restoration of social services - education - health in an LRRD (Linking relief, Rehabilitation and Development) approach amounting to €27 million; a support for the elections amounting to €20 million; a State Building Contract amounting to €33 million; and especially the creation of the first EU Trust Fund co-funded with France, Germany and Netherlands, with an initial EU contribution (European Development Fund - EDF) of €39 million and €25 million from other contributors.
The EU Trust Fund in support of CAR aims to facilitate the transition from emergency response, such as humanitarian aid, towards longer-term development assistance. It will contribute to the reconstruction of the country, in particular restoring the national and local administrations, re-establishing economic activity and essential services (such as electricity, transport, health and education) and stabilising the country. The activities will also focus on enabling neighbouring countries to overcome the consequences of the crisis in CAR. The fund, which is open to EU as well as international donors, starts with an initial amount of €64 million, which includes contributions from the EU Commission, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
The other measures of the package are based on a "people-centred" angle to restore basic social services and livelihood in line with a LRRD approach (Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development), and notably in the areas of education and health, and support for the organisation of the elections. The package also includes a State Building Contract for €33 million in order to safeguard public services in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Also part of this package, the €20 million project in support of the elections, will be channelled through a Contribution Agreement with the UN.
Our cooperation with the CAR was never suspended. It continues even if it must be re-orientated. At present, it remains active essentially in Bangui and in the Northwest of the country.
The National Indicative Programme for Central African Republic outlines the main focal sectors of the EU cooperation with the country during the period 2014-20 under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
Development cooperation with the CAR, financed by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and by the budgetary thematic lines amounted approximately €225 million for the period 2008-2013.
At the end of 2013, all the funds of the 10th EDF, that is approximately €160 million, were committed. Sectors cover governance, justice and police, public finances, socio-economic rehabilitation of development poles(rural tracks, markets, local administration, drinking water), infrastructures (rural tracks, drainage in Bangui).
In June, 2013, some projects were straightened with regard to the activities and budgets, so as to answer better the needs on the ground. It allows mainly the realisation of projects with High Intensity of Manpower (HIMO).
This new approach allows: a monetary redistribution which will restart the local economy; to restructure the
Justice system; to support our actions at the level of the public finances to secure government expenditure.