Today the EU has adopted an action program that will provide up to €750 million during the period 2014-2016 to support peace and security in Africa. The new funding had been announced by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, at the Africa-EU summit in April and will be channeled through the African Peace Facility (APF) to support the African Union and African sub-regional organizations in their peace and security efforts. An initial amount of €325 million will be committed for 2014 and funding will rapidly be made available to support ongoing peace operations.
The APF is a central instrument in cooperation between Africa and the EU on peace and security. With today’s action program, the APF will continue to support the following three main areas: African-led peace operations, the strengthening of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and quick impact actions aimed at conflict prevention and crisis management.
Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development commented: “Since its creation in 2004, the African Peace Facility has had a direct and positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans who are affected by conflicts and crises. Today’s new and significant financial contribution demonstrates the EU’s continued commitment to supporting Africa in its work for peace and security.
The funding will allow us to extend the EU’s support that is essential for the success of ongoing African-led peace operations such as AMISOM in Somalia and MISCA in the Central African Republic.”
The new action program also introduces simplified and swifter decision-making procedures for extending or renewing support to on-going peace operations or support to the APSA.
Since 2004, the EU has provided over €1.2 billion of funding through the APF which has been effective in backing African efforts in the area of peace and security by providing predictable aid. The APF provides financing to the African Union and African regional economic communities and regional mechanisms.
It has allowed a number of African-led peace operations to take place, such as the missions in Somalia (AMISOM), the Central African Republic (MISCA) or Mali (AFISMA) and provided a significant contribution to the strengthening of African capacities in peace and security at the continental and sub-regional level such as support to training centers for peace keepers or to the establishment of a command, control, communication and information system to run peace operations.
The APF does not fund military equipment, arms, ammunition or military training. In peace operations, the APF typically covers allowances for the troops, salaries for civilians as well as logistical, transport, medical and communication costs.
The facility has also supported a number of activities in mediation and conflict prevention. It has been used, for example, to support a joint verification mechanism which aims at restoring trust between the Democratic Republic of Congo and its neighbors through patrolling, monitoring and reporting.
Furthermore, the APF has contributed to a more comprehensive political dialogue between the EU and Africa in the area of peace and security.
Cover Photo: MISCA in the Central African Republic