Nongovernmental organizations welcome the European Union's initiative to set up a multidonor trust fund for the conflict-ridden Central African Republic, but they are still waiting how the mechanism will play out in practice, and if it will be able to meet its objectives.
The trust fund — named Bêkou, which means hope in the local language Sango — was launched Monday in Florence, Italy, followed Tuesday by the signing by the different donors of the constitutional act that allows it to start operations. The fund will have an initial 64 million euros ($86.69 million) in pooled resources, the bulk of which comes from the European Development Fund.
An EU spokesperson clarified that the funds pledged by the European Commission are new and not pulled from other allocations, one of the concerns posed to Devex by several NGOs. It's unclear, however, if this is also true for the contributions of the other EU member states.
Bêkou, the official explained, will allow other donors — member states, private organizations and even individuals wishing to send help in CAR but have no means to do so — to support the EU-led humanitarian and recovery efforts in the country. The goal is for the fund to help provide a comprehensive response in the country that covers not just relief, but also rehabilitation and long-term development.