Central African Republic receives new UN peacebuilding funds


4 February - The United Nations today announced a further allocation of $20 million from its Peacebuilding Fund to the Central African Republic (CAR) to support security sector reform, economic revitalization and the rule of law in consolidating peace in the impoverished African country.

CAR has already received $10.8 million from the Fund, which was created in 2006 as part of reforms setting up the UN Peacebuilding Commission, an intergovernmental advisory body of UN entities and Member States, international financial institutions and others on how best to coordinate the world community's aid in post-conflict countries.

During a visit this week to CAR, which has been beset by sporadic conflict between Government forces and rebels and a spill-over of violence from its neighbours that have left hundreds of thousands of people displaced, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Judy Cheng-Hopkins said the new funding will deliver peace dividends to all.

In the area of security sector reform, it will provide start-up funding for the construction of two of the four barracks needed to support 10 police contingents and is expected to leverage further funding from other donors.

In supporting economic revitalization, it will fund a joint project between the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCRUNDP), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to create quick peace dividends to help internally displaced persons (IDPs) return home. Again, it is hoped that this project will be scaled-up with future funding from bilateral or multilateral donors.

In the area of governance and rule of law, the funding will assist a new human rights commission and the development of a human rights action plan. Additionally it will fund the construction of two new prisons providing those found guilty of crimes with safe and secure detention facilities.

Ms Cheng-Hopkins is travelling with Bisrat Aklilu, Executive Coordinator of the Multi Donor Trust Fund Office, which is run by UNDP and administers the Peacebuilding Fund, which is currently supporting more than 100 projects in 15 countries.

Countries on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission receive funding, and those that are not may also receive funds following a declaration of eligibility by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In December, Mr. Ban's Special Representative in CAR, Sahle-Work Zewde, warned the Security Council that international assistance was vital to prevent CAR from sliding back into political crisis and potential new fighting as it prepares for elections this year.