The Bêkou Trust Fund for the Central African Republic, the first ever EU Trust Fund established by the Commission in 2014, was set to expire in July 2019. As a result, its state of play and future beyond July 2019, have recently been a topic of reflection for its Members and the Central African Government.
Concerning its role and value added, there was a strong consensus among EU Member States and local implementing partners that it is still a very relevant tool for a country context like the Central African Republic, and fully part of the EU integrated approach. Five years after its creation, the Bêkou Trust Fund has already almost quadrupled its resources (from €64 million to €243 million) and has launched 17 programmes, which have already provided tangible results for half of the population of the Central African Republic.
A strong political support for the Trust Fund came with the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 15 October 2018 on the Central African Republic, which state that “The Council welcomes the progress made possible by the Bêkou Trust Fund for the reconstruction of the Central African Republic and calls for consideration to be given to its future.”
The Trust Fund meeting on 30 November 2018 in Bangui was the occasion to table a report that requested the extension of the Bêkou Trust Fund until 31 December 2020. The report provided justifications for the extension and confirmed that the conditions of added value, clear political visibility and additionality are met.
On 19 June 2019, the European Commission announced the extension of the Bêkou Trust Fund for the Central African Republic (CAR) until the end of 2020.