Members of a visiting inter-services mission gave a press conference on March 24, 2015 in Yaounde.Suffering, despair and insecurity experienced by the civilian population of the Far North Region due to cross-border insurgency by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, have aroused sympathy from friends of Cameroon who are still rallying support to authorities and the affected populations. Joining the queue officially, the European Union (EU) has mobilised over FCFA 4 billion for two short-term projects as part of several economic and political assistance mechanisms that it intends to set up to help the country face the terrorist threat.
In a press conference at the European Union Delegation in Yaounde on March 24, 2015, a high-profile inter-services delegation from the EU led by the Managing Director for Africa of the European External Action Service, Nick Westcott, disclosed that the first project, worth FCFA 2.6 billion, will strengthen the operational capacities of civil protection particularly the Fire-Fighting Brigade and the frontier police. The second project that targets the socio-economic integration of underprivileged youths in the Far North Region will be funded with over FCFA 1.5 billion. Furthermore, more funding will be made available for the affected regions under the 11th European Development Fund to Cameroon, worth FCFA 185 billion, while a new programme for rural development targeting a great portion of the Far North Region is in preparation with the Cameroonian government.
“More than ever, we will be by your side to help you surmount this crisis,” Nick Westcott assured Cameroonians through the listening pressmen. To illustrate EU’s emphasis on the importance of a long-term development strategy in the affected area, the Deputy Managing Director at EU’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), Marcus Cornaro, travelled to Douala yesterday to meet key actors of the business community and civil society to discuss how efficiently development projects could be carried out in the affected areas. Meanwhile, the Director and Operations Chief of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, Jean Louis De Brouwer, left for the Far North Region yesterday with UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, to lay down groundwork for more humanitarian assistance projects.
During the question and answer session under the supervision of the European Union’s Ambassador and Chief of Delegation in Cameroon, H.E. Franccediloise Collet, the pressmen also learnt that the European Union intends to provide logistics and financial assistance to the African Union Multinational Joint Task Force when it goes operational. Before the press conference, the delegation had held talks with several State officials such as the Secretary General at the Prime Minister’s Office as well as Ministers in charge of Defence, External Relations and Territorial Administration.
Source : Cameroon Tribune