EU provides €30 million to reinforce cooperation among the Portuguese-speaking African countries and Timor-Leste
Today, the European Union and the Portuguese-speaking African countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau,Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe) and Timor-Leste signed an agreement under which the EU will provide support of €30 million for their cooperation under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The ceremony took place in in São Tomé e Príncipe in the presence of Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, and the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, Nyeleti Brooke Mondlane, who signed on behalf of PALOP-TL. The aim of the new programme is to reinforce an existing regional network within the Portuguese speaking countries' community. The main objective will be to promote employment, through mobility and social inclusion, using the common language. A specific component on governance capacity development will reinforce institutional capacity in key policy areas of common interest, such as statistics, justice, electoral cycles, and new domains such as research, climate change or environmental issues. This will allow countries to reinforce cooperation within their network, mobilising expertise on demand in specific areas of interest. More information is available online on the European Commission's webpage for Development and Cooperation.
Here the link directly to our webrelease: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/regions/africa/palop-tl_en
President Jean-Claude Juncker together with the High Representative Vice-President Federica Mogherini, and the Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, launched the European Year of Development during the visit by the College of Commissioners to Riga. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, were also present.
2015 is set to be a special year for development, as the deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals; and for the next set of goals – the Sustainable Development Goals – to be put in place. At the event in the national Library of Latvia, President Juncker said: "One of my priorities for this Commission is to strengthen Europe as a global actor. Europe can only be a global actor if Europeans understand how the role of the European Union and its Member States benefits us all in our interdependent world. And since 2015 is an important year in this regard, it is very timely to have a European Year for Development that will seek to foster the direct engagement of our citizens."
“The aim of the European Year for Development is to inform EU citizens about development cooperation by highlighting the results that the Union, acting together with Member States, has achieved as a global player”, added Commissioner Neven Mimica.
Full press release in English: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/eyd2015-press-release-20150109_en.pdf
EU announces €3 billion of development support to the Horn of Africa region
Today, the EU has confirmed that it will support the wider region of the Horn of Africa with a total of €3 billion until 2020, primarily coming from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The largest share of this will be channelled through bilateral funding to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya; parts will also go to regional organisations. EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, commented: "The EU stands ready to further deepen its long-standing partnership with the Horn of Africa – helping to build robust and accountable political structures, enhancing trade and economic cooperation, financing peace keeping activities and providing humanitarian assistance and development cooperation. Our support will help the people of the Greater Horn on their path to much needed peace, stability, resilience and growth.” The comprehensive approach of the EU in the region covers for instance support to better connections between countries within the Horn of Africa region (e.g. transport, energy); support to the state building process in Somalia and the African peace keeping force AMISOM, as well as training of Somali security forces; fighting piracy in the Western Indian Ocean through an EU naval force (EU NAVFOR – Atalanta).
For more information: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-
Commissioner Piebalgs to sign development programmes for Belize, Lesotho, Togo and Zambia
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will sign today the National Indicative Programmes (NIP) for development cooperation with Belize, Lesotho, Togo and Zambia in the 2014-2020 period, which amount to €869 million. The signing ceremony with representatives of those countries will take place in the margins of the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Commissioner Piebalgs said: “The programmes that we will sign are the fruit of close cooperation with the four partner countries and reflect their own policies, strategies, and needs as they have defined them. I am particularly pleased to see that energy and governance are key priorities for these countries, as clear drivers for sustainable development and growth. Our support will target EU resources where they are most needed and most effective.”
For more information : IP/14/1121.
Commissioner Piebalgs: Creating an "energy revolution" across the developing world
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, opened today the Sustainable Energy for All Committee meeting taking place in Brussels. He reconfirmed the European Union and the biggest supporter of the SE4ALL initiative and reminded of our commitment to help developing countries provide access to sustainable energy services for 500 million people by 2030. Strong political ownership, ensuring the necessary implementation capacity is in place and delivering financing and ensuring rapid results on the ground were mentioned by the Commissioner as the three key conditions to achieve that all-important enabling environment for investments. He also presented a brand new initiative called –the Electrification Financing Initiative, or ElectriFI : " Through this innovative instrument, EU grants will complement private financing, bridging potential financial gap in order to make a project bankable. This will provide the security investors and banks are expecting to boost investments. If investments are successful, the grants will be converted into loans, at concessional rate, and the EU will be “reimbursed”. We will then be able to reinvest our grants in new projects, allowing more and more people to get access to electricity services. ElectriFi is more than a financing proposal, in that it puts forward a business model to leverage more private investments and involve more key stakeholders in all areas of expertise on a global level."
Fighting Ebola: European Commission sends representatives to Sierra Leone and Liberia to coordinate EU support
The European Commission is continuing its active participation in the efforts to contain the outbreak of Ebola which has already claimed 2811 lives in Guinea, Liberia, Siera Leone and Nigeria. Two high-level officials from the Commission have visited Sierra Leone (Freetown) and Liberia (Monrovia) last week to discuss the coordinated response to the epidemic and to confirm continued European Union support to the affected countries.
Marcus Cornaro, Deputy Director General of the Commission's Directorate General for Development and Cooperation (EuropeAid) and Philippe Maughan, Head of Sector for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean at the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (ECHO) met with President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. They also held meetings with the national authorities (including the Minister of Health and Finance) and international organisations operating on the ground in response to the emergency. They also had exchanges with representatives of the US Army and the African Union who had just arrived to set up their respective missions.
On his return, Marcus Cornaro said: “The situation in the two countries is extremely serious and the international community must increase its support to fight the epidemic. In my meetings I confirmed that the EU has put a comprehensive range of support measures in place. We are determined to help the countries and the many victims with immediate support through humanitarian aid, but will also give development assistance to the region to strengthen health systems, as well as budget support to Sierra Leone and Liberia to cushion the severe macroeconomic impact of the crisis.”
Philippe Maughan added: "As a medical doctor and emergency healthcare expert, I commend the healthcare professionals working around the clock to contain the spread of the disease, often at risk for their own lives. The capacity of first responders is stretched. The surge of the international response in recent weeks is welcome, but it urgently needs to be translated to concrete action on the ground".
EU boosts its cooperation on sustainable energy with developing countries
EU's commitment to helping developing countries provide access to sustainable energy for all is stronger than ever. The European Union will tomorrow co-sign joint declarations in New York to reinforce energy cooperation with five African countries: Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Togo and Rwanda. The agreements aim to increase access to sustainable energy sources by engaging with the private sector and improving the conditions for investment and funding on this area. Welcoming the initiative, Commissioner Piebalgs said: "Without energy, factories cannot function, schools cannot be lighted up and families cannot cook, and this is a situation that many people are still facing today. But it is equally important that sustainable energy sources are promoted first and foremost. These declarations are a clear sign of the political commitment of all co-signatories that we want to work together and achieve faster progress in ensuring access to sustainable energy for all.” The EU plans to allocate more than 3.3 billion euro worth of grants in the 2014-2020 financial period to support sustainable energy projects all over the world. Around 2 billion euro will be dedicated to African countries.
Press Release: IP/14/1026
Hunger in the world: an encouraging new report from the three UN food agencies
Today the three Rome-based UN food agencies –the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP)- have published their latest annual report on food insecurity in the world.
According to the report, we are making some good progress here: the new figures show a reduction in undernourished people around the world by more than 100 million over the last decade (up to 805 million people, or one in nine, are suffering from hunger these days).
Such a trend means that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 is within reach. However, I share the UN’s concern related to persisting differences across regions.
EU announces €140m package in response to Ebola virus outbreak
The European Commission announces today €140 million of funding for the countries currently affected by the Ebola virus in West Africa: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
€38 million of the new package is specifically designed to help those governments bolster their health services (for example through reinforcing treatment centres or support for health workers), both during the crisis and in the recovery phase. It will also provide support in the areas of food security, water and sanitation, which are essential in terms of safeguarding the health of the population. EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will make the announcement today during his official visit to Benin. The rest will be used to reinforce governments’ capacity to deliver public services, and macro-economic stability; as well as providing mobile laboratories for the detection of the virus and training health worker.
Press Release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-974_en.htm
Commissioner Piebalgs calls for a stronger partnership with Small Islands Developing States
EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will represent the EU at the UN Third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), organised in Samoa from 1 to 4 September. The event, which takes place every 10 years, will aim to put in the spotlight the significant challenges that these small islands face, due to their small size, their isolation and their vulnerability to the effects of climate change. The Commissioner will confirm EU's renewed commitment to address the special needs and vulnerabilities of SIDS. Commissioner Piebalgs will be in Samoa until September 2, and he will take the opportunity to visit some of the EU-funded projects, aiming among other things to providing drinking water to the population.
Full Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-956_en.htm