By the end of 2017, more than 480,000 Central Africans were refugees in neighbouring countries, while half of the population (approximately 2.4 million people) is still dependent on humanitarian aid.
The extent of the political and security crisis of 2013 in the Central African Republic needed a structured and well-adapted response by the international community.
In this context, the European Union Multi-Donor Fund for the Central African Republic, named Bêkou (that means "hope" in the sango language), was created on 15 July 2014 by the European Union and 3 of its Member States, France, Germany and the Netherlands. These 4 European donors, together with Italy and Switzerland, which joined the fund in 2015, decided to pool their funding, analysis and implementation capacities to collectively respond to the challenges of the recovery of the Central African Republic, in consultation with the national authorities. The Bêkou Trust Fund was created for 60 months in order to:
- Collect various sources of financing;
- Coordinate the existing interventions of the contributors and pool the resources and expertise of the actors present on the field or interested in working in the country;
- Elaborate programmes on the margin of humanitarian action and development in the medium and long term, in accordance with the LRRD approach ("Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development").
As established in the Constitutive Agreement, the Fund finances activities that contribute, inter alia, to:
- restore essential public services and basic social services (health and education);
- revive economic activity;
- stabilise the country and restore the social fabric, in particular through reconciliation, peaceful coexistence between the communities of the CAR and respect for human rights;
- re-establish the legitimacy, rebuild capacity and restore the operation of national and local administrative structures;
- mitigate the impact of the crisis on the countries sharing a common border with the CAR and/or sheltering refugees and those fleeing the violence in CAR.
The Bêkou Trust Fund has increased its financial resources from € 64,000,000 to € 239,546,930 and has already financed 16 actions.
The annual reports (in French) provide a comprehensive overview of the actions of the Trust Fund: