Conflict-torn Central African Republic (CAR) is recovering and entering a new era of reconciliation and prosperity. Starting with a successful democratic transition in 2016, the signing of a Peace agreement in February 2019 between the Government and 14 armed groups offers positive prospects for re-establishing State control and addressing the needs of the population.
After decades of unstable governance, the CAR population faces severe challenges in terms of food security and access to basic needs (water, health, education). A quarter of the population (1.2 million people) has been forcibly displaced, inside or outside the country.
The EU is the country's main partner and has been present before, during and after the crisis, mobilising all its external actions policies and instruments to support the recovery and stabilisation of the country.
In CAR, the EU mobilises all available instruments (integrated approach) to respond to the crisis and address governance, economic, social, humanitarian and security challenges and is thus significantly contributing to making the CAR democratic transition process a success. A dedicated (and the first) EU Trust Fund ‘Bêkou’ operates to address communities’ and State resilience. The EU is committed to supporting long-term socio-economic recovery in the framework of a comprehensive state- and peace-building agenda, promoting reforms and strengthening national systems.
EU support is fully aligned to the CAR’s national strategy – the ‘Plan National de Relèvement et de Consolidation de la Paix en Centrafrique’ (RCPCA)’ built around 3 pillars:
- Support peace, security and reconciliation.
- Renew the social contract between State and the population.
- Ensure economic recovery and boost productive sectors.
- In 2015 the EU assisted the government and the Autorité Nationale des Elections (ANE) in the organisation of free, fair and credible elections leading to the return to Constitutional order.
- Thanks to the support to the education sector, aiming at sustainably restoring the education system, especially in the areas affected by conflict, the EU has supported 300 schools, thus benefitting 150,000 of the most vulnerable groups as well as 5,000 teachers.
- The EU aims to contribute towards the reinforcement of the health system and thus promotes better healthcare access to the population. Over 2 million people received medical care of good quality provided by EU projects in the whole country. EU is also working with government and other donors in the implementation of free basic heathcare for children under under 5 years and vulnerable people.
- EU assisted over 750,000 farmers to improve productivity and increase production and access to markets. Over 2 million animals were vaccinated to improve animal health, food safety and food security
- 12,000 individual women and over 600 groups benefited of activities for their social and economic empowerment
- The EU also contributed to the improvement of the security sector through its support to the internal security forces allowing redeployment across the territory and the recruitment so far of 500 new policeman and gendarmes.
Under the current programming period (2014-2020), CAR was allocated €442 million in the following focal sectors:
- Economic governance and social services, in particular education.
- Security sector reform and democratic governance.
- Rural resilience and job creation.
- Support to civil society is also foreseen .
CAR also benefits from regional cooperation , as well as the Bêkou EU Trust Fund which reaches more than 50% of the population by providing basic services in health and agriculture sectors. It also supports capacity building initiatives, as well projects related to resilience, mediation/reconciliation and envisages new actions in the area of community resilience, economic recovery, light infrastructure, water-sanitation and support to government capacity to redeploy its authority in the country.