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.
The EU is a strategic partner in the Central African Republic (CAR) with a global, political, security, economic, financial, and humanitarian role, through a multidimensional integrated approach, which mobilizes all the Union's policies, instruments, and intervention tools.
For the period 2021-2027, the EU will have to continue to demonstrate its ability as an actor of stability and provide solutions for an exit from the crisis in the CAR. The CAR should be able to fully benefit from the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, the integrated approach of the European Union to the response to crises, and the new European Strategy for a partnership with Africa by contributing to the objectives of the EU's external policy.
The three proposed priority areas for the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) are the following:
Peace, Security, Justice, and Governance
Security is our main priority, both for the Central African citizens and for state institutions. Every citizen should be able to live in peace and work for sustainable social and economic development. Cooperation with the EU should be based on a multidimensional approach to achieve security while integrating the elements of human development, governance, transparent management, and sustainable natural resources.
Low human development is currently one of the main challenges for the economic and social development of the CAR, which cannot be achieved without the employment of its human resources.
Basic services, as a factor of strengthening the social contract, resilience, and cohesion, are one of our priorities in the context of extreme fragility in the CAR. Repeated challenging periods have left the country with weak or even absent institutions, a population with limited access to basic services, violence against civilians, a deteriorated social fabric, and a large dependence on external humanitarian aid.
The CAR has a unique natural resource potential: its rich biodiversity, arable land available, and abundant forest, mining, and significant water resources play a major role in the watersheds of the Congo and Lake Chad. These natural resources have always been the basis of the country's economy and they can now contribute positively to the stabilization and recovery of the latter provided that their governance is sustainably strengthened.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for the Central African Republic for 2021-2024 amounts to €172 million.
Priority area 1: ‘’Peace, Security, Justice, and Governance’’ strengthens the security – both physical and legal – of people, property, and institutions of the state, contributes to the independence of justice, accountability, access to justice, strengthening community mechanisms for conflict management, the reduction of impunity, a process of inclusive and lasting peace, and respect for human rights.
Priority area 2: ‘’Human Development’’ ensures accessibility to quality health care and increases access to and the quality of primary and secondary education, as well as training professionalism, especially for the most vulnerable populations, including women, girls, and children.
Priority area 3: ‘’GreenTransition’’ supports the green economy sector through sustainable endogenous economic development and inclusion in the agricultural and livestock sector. Furthermore, it supports the CAR in the sustainable management of natural forest resources, hydraulics, and mining, in a sensitive approach to conflicts.
Apart from the activities planned with civil society within the framework of the priority areas, a specific programme is dedicated to strengthening the capacity of civil society and community organisations. Part of this programme is the capacity of CSOs to organise themselves at a local and national level, defend their interests, ensure the transparency of public finance management and governance, contribute to the fight against corruption and impunity, and promote the principles of the rule of law and human rights.
Bêkou Trust Fund
After the 2013 crisis in the country, it was necessary to create a rapid and flexible tool to meet the immediate needs of the population, while ensuring sustainable reconstruction of the country. The multi-donor EU Trust Fund was established in July 2014 and still has projects ongoing today.