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European Union provides €300m funding to support peace and security in Africa

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The European Commission has decided to replenish the African Peace Facility (APF) with €300 million to support African peace and security actions both at the regional and continental levels.

The funding will be available to the African Union (AU) and African Regional Organisations for the period 2011-2013 in order to support relevant, targeted, continental and regional initiatives in the area of conflict prevention, management and resolution, and peace building.

A statement by the EU received by GNA in Accra on Thursday said the Peace Facility provided substantial and predictable funding to African-led peace support operations and relevant capacity building activities for African organisations.

It constitutes the major financing instrument of the Africa-EU strategic partnership in Peace and Security.

European Union High Representative and Vice President Cathy Ashton said: “The EU is sparing no effort to support the African Union’s work to bring peace to the continent, as this additional contribution demonstrates.”

She applauded countries that had mobilised troops for missions supporting peace, such as the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

“However, more effort is still required. We encourage other African countries to step forward and support the AU in this endeavour. And I call on the whole international community to step up their contribution to help build peace and stability in Africa.”

The EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said it was estimated that in Africa more than 200 million people currently still lived in conflict zones, which prevented efforts to alleviate poverty.

“Security and stability must be ensured to lay the foundations for sustainable development in Africa. The Peace Facility has supported a number of African peace support operations in recent years. Today’s decision confirms EU’s steadfast support to African organisations in their actions to prevent conflicts and to maintain peace in critical zones,” he said.

The EU statement said in addition to peace operations, the APF supported the African Peace and Security Architecture, which focused on the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.

In this area, approximately 100 million euro had been earmarked since 2004 for activities aimed at strengthening capacities of African institutions at the continental and regional level, the statement added.

Operations financed through the African Peace Facility Ongoing operations, financed through the APF, are the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Mission for the consolidation of peace in Central African Republic (MICOPAX) and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

In Somalia, the APF funds the African Union Peace Support Operation (AMISOM) which provides support to the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions in their stabilisation efforts and in the pursuit of political dialogue and reconciliation.

AMISOM is also mandated to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and to create the necessary conditions for reconstruction, reconciliation and the sustainable development of Somalia.

Source: GNA

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