Increase in funding for Great Lake countries

March 7, 2014

Hat: RDC and Rwanda will receive increased EU support for the upcoming years

Funding Scheme: 2014-03-07

Pgm2014 2020: Yes

Amorce:

During its vist to the Great Lakes Region, the European Commissioner for Development unveiled a new funding scheme for cooperation and achieving millenium goals in the Region, with an overall increase in fundings compared to previous years

Text:

European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, has announced €620 million of new EU support to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and €460 million for Rwanda for the period 2014-2020, during a visit to the Great Lakes region in Central Africa together with the Belgian Minister for International Cooperation, Jean-Pascal Labille. The amounts represent a significant increase of funding compared to recent years. Overall, governments and regional organisations in Central Africa, which comprises ten countries, will receive close to €3 billion of EU support over the period 2014-2020.

EU funding 2014-2020 in the DRC will be used to fight poverty by promoting inclusive and sustainable growth, strengthen democracy and human rights and contribute to peace and stability in the region. It will focus on the areas of health; environment and sustainable agriculture; strengthening governance and the rule of law; the rehabilitation of 150 km of the national road Route Nationale 1, the major transport route linking the seaports with Kinshasa and Mbuji-Mayi in the centre of the country. A special focus will be on security sector reform, continuing work already undertaken to modernize the police, defence and justice systems in DRC, laying the ground for better protection of citizens and their rights.

In Rwanda the overall objective is to reduce poverty, support the already significant progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and to strengthen democratic governance with safeguards for human rights. Focal sectors of EU assistance agreed with donors and government will be sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture and food security and governance.

Schedule of Commissioner Piebalgs

Commissioner Piebalgs has been travelling with the Belgian Minister for International Cooperation, Jean-Pascal Labille. During his stay in the DRC he has met a number of senior members of the administration on 4 March. He has inaugurated the new EU financed Palais de Justice in Kinshasa.

Subsequently the Commissioner has traveled to the east of the DRC, among other things to visit an education centre for children in Goma and meet Dr Denis Mukwege, the Director of the Panzi hospital in Bukavu where thousands of victims of sexual violence are treated. The Commissioner has also visited the Parc National des Virungas (which is supported with funding by the EU and Belgium) whose status as a UNESCO world heritage site is threatened by the possibility of oil extraction.

Commissioner Piebalgs has also presented a new programme (EU support €20 million) to tackle gender-based violence in the DRC. Implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the programme focuses on the causes of gender-based violence in the city-province of Kinshasa and the provinces of Bandundu and Maniema by supporting behavioural change, empowering women and improving protection. Activities included, among other things, training for teachers, information and awareness campaigns, the creation of a database and early warning system on gender-based violence and support to the security and justice sectors to improve the protection of women and children.

On 6 March, Andris Piebalgs has met the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame and visited the memorial that commemorates the Rwandan genocide which took place 20 years ago. Whilst in Rwanda the Commissioner will also announce a new nutrition programme (€30 million). The project will support the national strategy to eliminate malnutrition in Rwanda targeting the high chronic malnutrition of young children.

EU cooperation with the DRC and Rwanda

The new financial support for the two countries will be drawn from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) which provides EU support to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in the years 2014-2020. It follows on from the 10th EDF (2008-2013), under which the DRC has benefited from €569 million, focusing on the key areas of governance, infrastructure, health and environment. In addition to programmed aid, €140 million were spent on urgent activities in the areas of food security, health, justice and gender based violence. Over the same period, the DRC has also received EU funding of an additional €175 million in thematic areas such as support to civil society, fight against climate change, health and sexual violence, environment, food security, democracy and human rights. Rwanda has received €379 million between 2008 and 2013, with a focus on rural development, regional interconnectivity and budget support (i.e. direct support to the Rwandan government in pursuing its national development plans). An additional €45 million were provided under thematic programmes for food security, the environment and support to democracy and human rights.

Url description: Press of the Commission

Url: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-204_en.htm?locale=en

Url info description: Press of the Commission

Url info: Press of the Commission