On 26 May, the European Commission hosted a conference on the Central African Republic in Brussels. The objective of the meeting was to present a state of play of on-going work conducted by the Bêkou Trust Fund.
Keynote speakers included Neven Mimica (EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development); Catherine Samba-Panza (Interim President of the Central African Republic); representatives from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and representatives of EuropeAid, EU Member States and multilateral organisations like Medecins Sans Frontieres and UN OCHA.
All were invited to discuss the way forward and plans to organise a donors meeting.
The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) was invited to facilitate a roundtable debate that focused on the ‘resilience’ agenda in the Central African Republic and the role of the Bêkou Trust Fund – helping vulnerable communities emerge from cycles of crisis into pathways toward development.
The roundtable on Bêkou (p.m.) was facilitated by Volker Hauck (Head of the Conflict, Security and Resilience Programme, ECDPM) and supported by Greta Galeazzi (Policy Officer, ECDPM).
The EU Trust Fund for CAR aims to prepare the transition from emergency response, such as humanitarian aid, towards longer-term development assistance, according to the so-called ‘LRRD’ policy of the EU. 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. Bêkou, which means hope in Sango, the main language of the Central African Republic.
In 2014, when Bêkou was designed, the European Commission, France, the Netherlands and Germany paid a total of 64 million euros ($81 million) into the fund. The individual donor nations are paying into a joint fund so they can combine their resources and cut bureaucracy. The activities financed by Bêkou Trust Fund must help achieve the overall objective of this Fund, as set out in Article 2 of the Constitutive Agreement, namely to assist the Central African Republic to exit from crisis and restart the engines of development, together with the authorities of the Central African Republic (CAR) and in accordance with the EU guidelines.
For more information on the Bêkou Trust Fund, please visit the EuropeAid website.