Bêkou Trust Fund
To respond to the consequences of the 2013 crisis in the Central African Republic, it was necessary to create a rapid and flexible tool to meet the immediate needs of the population, while ensuring sustainable reconstruction of the country.
In this context, the first multi-donor EU Trust Fund was established in July 2014 at the discretion of the European Union and three of its Member States - France, Germany and the Netherlands. The donors decided to pool their funding, expertise and implementation capacities together, in close cooperation with the national authorities. The Fund was named Bêkou that means "hope" in Sango. Italy and Switzerland joined in 2015.
With the signing of a new peace agreement in 2019, the situation in the Central African Republic has eased but remains volatile. Therefore, in May 2019, based on “continuing needs”, an 18 months extension was approved, allowing Bêkou to fund new programmes until end 2020.
The European Union has different tools to support the Central African Republic: the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is leading the EU humanitarian response, while traditional development instruments such as the European Development Fund (EDF) are contributing to long-term needs. The Bêkou Fund positions itself in the Humanitarian – Development - Peace Nexus. It creates bridges between humanitarian and development actions; following the Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LLRD) approach.
Amongst the advantages of the Bêkou Trust Fund are its rapidity - it is able to act quickly, its flexibility – it is able to adapt to changing situation and notably to a volatile security climate and the enhanced donor coordination.
According to its constitutive agreement, the Bêkou Trust Fund aims to support the “Central African Republic’s exit from the crisis, its reconstruction and development”.
Furthermore, the Trust Fund intends to help the region cope with the consequences of the crisis and notably the neighbouring countries sheltering refugees.
Areas of intervention
The 22 programmes launched by the Bêkou Trust Fund contribute to:
- restoring essential public services and basic social services (health, food security, water and sanitation)
- reviving economic activity (rural development, support to local economic actors, microfinance)
- stabilising the country and restoring the social fabric, in particular through reconciliation, peaceful coexistence between communities and respect for human rights
- re-establishing the legitimacy, rebuilding capacity and restoring the operation of national and local administrative structures
These programmes are aligned with the National Recovery and Peacebuilding Plan (RCPCA) adopted in October 2016 by the Central African State and its 3 pillars: (1) promote peace, security and reconciliation; (2) renew the social contract between the State and the population and (3) facilitate economic and productive sector recovery.
Six years after its creation, the projects funded by the Bêkou Trust Fund have already benefitted to more than 2.9 million Central Africans. They have provided tangible results such as: