Belgium: Donors pledge €2.06 billion to support CAR at Brussels conference

Brussels, Belgium (PANA) - Donors have pledged €2.06 billion (US$2.28 billion) to support the Central African Republic's efforts to achieve peace, security and reconciliation, as well as to promote development and economic recovery, while continuing with the provision of humanitarian assistance.

The pledges were made on Thursday as the international community came together at a conference in the Belgian capital, Brussels, to signal their renewed engagement and support to the Central African Republic's comprehensive National Plan for Recovery and Peacebuilding, a European Commission press statement obtained by PANA on Friday said.

The Brussels International Conference for the Central African Republic (CAR), which was organised by the European Union and the Central African Government.

The statement said the European Commission pledged €409 million ($450 million) for the period 2016-2020, while additional pledges from Member States amounted to €298 million ($328 millions). Other donors made pledges that brought the overall figure to €2.06 billion (US$2.28 billion).

It said the conference drew delegations from over 80 countries, international organisations and agencies.

The European Union High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini, who co-chaired the conference jointly with the President of the Central African Republic, Professor Faustin Archange Touadéra, said: "The Central African Republic has come a long way over the past three years. Despite the challenges, its citizens have shown their will to move beyond the crisis and start anew.

"The European Union is with them, to support the country on a path towards sustainable growth, deep reforms and national reconciliation. Our Global Strategy comes strongly into action there: we have mobilised all our tools, from
development and humanitarian funding, to our military mission to support security sector reform and our electoral mission. Our EU pledge today will support the efforts of the national government's ambitious reform agenda to give its population the peace, security and economic prosperity they deserve.”

The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: "Today's pledge of €2.06 billion show our continued support to the Central African Republic."

Mimica said in the past five months, the EU had closely worked together to identify the needs of the Central African Republic, and to support the government in developing its National Plan for Recovery and Peacebuilding.

"I am convinced that this Plan will pave the way for the Central African Republic to move from crisis management to long-term and sustainable development for the Central African people. There is no room for any step backward in a country that has already experienced so much suffering and trouble."

President Touadera declared that the Brussels conference was an opportunity to reach three main goals: "To present, on behalf of our citizens, our National Plan for Recovery and Peace-building; to create a platform for our international partners to demonstrate continued commitment by announcing specific and significant financial contributions; and finally to keep CAR at the core of the international agenda."

It was also to ensure "the momentum to implement our strategy for peace and growth, sustained by the necessary reforms in the months and years to come".

The statement said the Central African Republic's National Plan, presented and discussed at the Brussels conference aimed to foster a number of key reforms: from peace and security to economic recovery; from improving the country's infrastructure to the provision of essential services, such as health, sanitation and education.

The programme will have a strategy for disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and repatriation; reform of the security and justice sectors; and a strategy to facilitate the return of displaced populations.

The plan was based on a joint assessment, with a request for support from the EU, the World Bank and the United Nations.

In a country which is still fragile – and with continuing and imposing humanitarian needs – costs of reconstruction have been quantified at approximately US$ 1.5 billion over the next three years and US$ 3 billion for the next five years.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country into civil conflict in 2013. Despite significant progress and successful elections, the CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest. More than 13,000 UN staff are currently based there as part of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country, known as MINUSCA.
-0- PANA MA 18Nov2016

18 november 2016 09:23:34

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