Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action.
These multi-donor trust funds are created for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions.
Trust funds are used as a financing mechanism to implement international cooperation and development measures. One or more donors pool their financial contributions in a trust fund set up to respond to major challenges, such as the specific needs triggered by natural disasters, conflicts or significant pandemics.
What are the advantages of using trust funds?
- faster decision-making process: measures are selected faster in comparison with the traditional multiannual programmes.
- leverage of additional resources: EU Trust Funds need to have at least one additional donor. These donors may be individual member countries or other entities.
- increase coordination and impact: pooling of resources means that actions are better coordinated and focused. It also saves extra overhead costs.
Existing EU Trust Funds
The first two EU Trust Funds were created in 2014: the Bêkou EU Trust Fund (€108 million), focusing on the stabilisation and reconstruction of the Central African Republic and the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis (€2.2 billion).
The Bêkou EU Trust Fund
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.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF)
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF)was established in November 2015 and signed by the European Commission, 25 member countries as well as Norway and Switzerland.
The EUTF for Africa was established to deliver an integrated and coordinated response to the diverse causes of instability, irregular migration and forced displacement. We aim to deliver concrete results in a rapid and effective manner across these areas of focus.
The EUTF for Africa provides a new impetus for EU cooperation on migration by creating a platform to reinforce political engagement and dialogue with partner countries in Africa, pooling together EU and other donors’ resources, and enlarging the EU evidence base to better understand the drivers and dynamics of migration.
The EUTF for Africa also undertakes to build a comprehensive approach to support all aspects of stability, security and resilience, aiming at addressing the conditions that could be conducive to violence and destabilisation, and supporting governments in their efforts to improve security.
The EU Trust Fund for Colombia
The EU Trust Fund for Colombia was created in response to the request of the Colombian Government to receive technical and financial support from the EU for implementing the Peace Agreement.
Through its projects, the Fund is stimulating economic activity and productivity, strengthening the legitimizing presence of the State, rebuilding the social fabric and supporting the reconciliation and social and economic reintegration of ex-combatants.
The overall aim is to help Colombia to secure a stable and lasting peace, to rebuild its social and economic fabric, and to give new hope to the people of Colombia.
Priority is given to rural areas, which have been disproportionately affected by the conflict.