European Commission commits more than a billion Euros to two African countries


Between now and 2020 two African countries will receive in excess of a billion Euros to aid reconstruction.

The majority of the funding from the European Commission (EC) is earmarked for poverty alleviation, strengthening human rights and democratic institutions in the DRC and Rwanda with security sector reform in both countries also receiving funding.

The European body has committed 620 million Euros to the DRC while Rwanda will receive 460 million Euros, EC Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said.

The amount is a significant increase in funding compared to recent years he said ahead of his arrival in the Great lakes Region, accompanied by Belgium’s Minister for International Co-operation, Jean-Pascal Labille.
“The region and its citizens have faced some exceptional challenges in recent years. These are not over but we should recognise we are at a moment of opportunity with the end of the M23 conflict and welcome signs of improved stability and security.
“We cannot be complacent, the problem of armed groups is not solved and we must continue to focus on it, but we also cannot afford to lose sights of our ambitions for long term economic and social development. The Addis Ababa Peace and Security Framework gives a shared set of principles and objectives to work towards. The secret now is to help our partners in the region to undertake the necessary reforms and make co-operation across borders a reality,” Piebalgs said.

Among projects the funding will go to in DRC is security sector reform with emphasis on modernising the police, justice and defence systems to better protect citizens and their rights.

Money will also go to fight poverty, sustainable agriculture and rehabilitation of roads.

In Rwanda the overall objective of the EC is to reduce poverty with strengthening of governance and safeguarding of human rights also receiving funding.

An amount of 160 million Euros will going to the governance and rule of law sector in DRC with justice and support to the reform of both the army and police high on the priority list.