Central African Republic (CAR) - The European Union (EU) is ready to give 25 million euros as new support to the African-led operation in Central African Republic (CAR) based on a request to be made by the African Union (AU), the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced here Friday.
“Subject to an ongoing evaluation of the current needs of (MISCA – Mission Internationale de Soutien a la Centrafrique sous Conduite Africaine), the EU also stands ready to support the electoral process in the CAR with around 20 million euros,” he said.
The new support will go towards putting in place voter registration, electoral operations – such as printing ballot papers, providing training, equipment and staff as well as voter education – and involving civil society groups as domestic observers.
According to Piebalgs, the new funding would bring the EU’s total commitments to CAR since the beginning of the crisis to around 200 million euros.
“This is a clear indication that we are mobilizing all available resources, not just development aid, to help the people of CAR and improve their security, in a situation that has been getting worse for more than a year now,” he said.
He added: “The MISCA support mission is a cornerstone for stabilizing the country. Protecting the local population and creating the conditions needed for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the reform and the reform of the security sector.”
Meanwhile, EU High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton said: “Together with our partners, the EU will remain actively engaged in supporting the stabilization of CAR. We will do all we can to help the new authorities to implement the transition agreement.”
The new funding for MISCA will allow the extension of the already announced 50 million euros of EU support, covering the cost of allowances, accommodation and food for troops deployed in the field, as well as the salaries of civilian MISCA personnel and various operational costs such as transport, communication and medical services
The EU has called on other potential donors to respond to the call of the AU, pointing out that among ongoing priorities of EU cooperation with CAR include creating jobs through road maintenance projects, the management of public finance and restoration of an operational policy that protects the population.