The European Union Trust Fund has approved the extension of the deployment of the Bêkou Trust Fund (which means “hope” in Sango). The Fund which is designed for the promotion, stabilisation, and reconstruction of the Central African Republic was established on 15 July 2014, by the European Union (represented by the DG DEVCO, DG ECHO and the EEAS) and three of its Member States: France, Germany, and the Netherlands. It is established for a maximum duration of 60 months in order to provide a medium-term response to the post-crisis situation in the Central African Republic.

According to the European Union’s Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, “We are extending the Bêkou Trust Fund for 18 months as it brings real results. The first ever EU Trust Fund has so far already reached over 2.5 million beneficiaries, over half of the population of the Central African Republic. It has improved the lives of lots of people in areas such as health, rural development, reconciliation and economic recovery.

In addition Mr. Mimica said “In a difficult context where our traditional instruments do not deliver fast enough, Bêkou has proven to be an effective tool. I call on EU Member States and other partners to further contributing to the Bêkou Trust Fund in order to maximise our impact on the ground”.

Five years after its creation, the Bêkou Trust Fund has already almost quadrupled its resources (from €64 million to €243 million) and has launched 17 programmes, which have already provided tangible results for half of the population of the Central African Republic.

In the health sector, which currently represents the main sector of intervention with 42% of the funds, the Bêkou Trust Fund actions restored health services for over 30% of the population. In the rural development sector, thanks to the food security programme, animal vaccination campaigns have been relaunched and the livelihoods of agro-pastoral communities were restored.

Additionally, by the end of 2018, more than 56,000 individuals have already benefited from actions that directly support peace building and conflict prevention. The EU, France, Germany as well as Switzerland have pledged around €55 million for the extension.