BRUSSELS – PRN Africa — The European Commission today announced two new actions worth €55 million. These programmes will provide direct support to the population, in the areas of health, food security and nutrition. Today, the European Commission announced two new actions to support the people of Burundi: access to healthcare, worth €40 million and a rural development and nutrition programme, worth €15 million. Both programmes will be implemented by non-governmental organisations and/or international agencies, following the EU Council Decision earlier this year which suspended direct EU financial support to the Burundian administration.
EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: ” Burundians themselves are the principal victims of the current crisis – which has aggravated a situation that was already very fragile. This new 55 M€ package will help strengthening access to health services and improving food and nutrition. It shows the clear commitment of the EU to continue supporting the people of Burundi, despite the current political impasse. ” Today’s announcement comes less than two months after the Council concluded consultations with Burundi under article 96 of the EU-ACP Partnership Agreement (Cotonou Agreement). The Council decided to suspend direct financial support to the Burundian authorities but at the same time underlined its continuing support to the population of Burundi and its long-term ambition to re-establish full co-operation if steps could be taken by Burundi that would encourage a political solution to the crisis.
The EU’s support programme for sustainable rural development and nutrition aims at improving livelihoods and increasing household income levels by expanding access to seeds, fertilisers, equipment and training. The support programme for the health system aims at increasing access to health services across 18 provinces in Burundi with a particular focus on pregnant women and children under five.
Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement provides the legal basis for appropriate measures to be taken, following a period of dialogue, in cases where one of the parties feels that the agreement’s essential elements are not being respected. The EU Council Decision taken after Article 96 consultations, on 14 March 2016, specified that EU funded projects which aim to ensure access to basic services for the population, but without channelling financial resources through accounts held by the Government of Burundi, were being prepared and the EU remained committed to providing emergency assistance.
Copyright European Union, 1995-2016
SOURCE European Commission
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