close this bookThe Courier - N°158 - July - August 1996 Dossier Communication and the media - Country report Cape Verde
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In brief

UNCTAD Report on the least-developed countries (LDCs)

According to the annual report of UNCTAD (The UN Conference on Trade and Development), the 48 least developed countries of the planet, after several years of stagnation - and indeed, decline in some cases - enjoyed an average growth rate of 3% in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1994-95. The figure was 4.6% for LDCs in Asia and 2.2% for those in Africa (33 out 48).

UNCTAD says that the renewed grovvth rate for Africa's least developed nations is due to an increase in commodity prices, to improved political and social stability in certain countries and to economic reforms which have been implemented. If these favourable conditions are maintained, further modest progress can be anticipated for 1996.

Despite the positive impact of these factors on the development of countries, notably in Asia, UNCTAD believes that there is still a short-term danger that the world's weakest economies will suffer further marginalisation. It is pointed out, in this context, that the LDCs' share of total world trade - which stood at 1.7% in 1970 - had fallen to 0.4% for exports and 0.7% for imports, by 1994.

In the longer term it is thought that the LDCs, with their reliance on basic commodities for export receipts, may benefit from the globalization of their economies. This should happen notably through the regional trade agreements to which they are parties, alongside other developing countries. These regional markets, which are more attractive for investors, offer an opportunity for LDCs to try out their products and can, in time, help improve their competitiveness. In the meantime, however, UNCTAD has noted that the immediate effects of the Uruguay Round have tended to be more negative, with reductions in the preferences enjoyed by LDCs in export markets and increases in the price of foodstuffs.

In addition, because they are dependent on official development aid (ODA) to finance investment, and even for their national budgets, LDCs are faced with possible further marginalisation as such aid flows are reduced. The figures show that, in terms of total resource flows, the amount of ODA provided by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD fell to 23% in 1994 from a figure of 27% a decade previously.

Likewise, the amount of aid, expressed as a proportion of the GDP of the donor countries, has been falling.

UNCTAD suggests a bolder policy as regards external debt - which, in 1994, amounted to 73% of the entire Gross Domestic Product of the LDCs. The organisation believes that the establishment of a new mechanism with sufficient resources to reduce multilateral indebtedness, combined with the expansion of existing mechanisms, could have the effect of reducing the overall debt burden to a more reasonable level.

On the subject of globalisation, UNCTAD argues that the international community should work to ensure that the LDCs' export markets do not become blocked by protectionist measures. It also believes that extensions to regional trade agreements, taking in the main industrialised countries, should not be allowed to have a damaging effect on the commercial interests of the LDCs. It points out that these countries have only limited scope for pursuing independent, national economic policies and that

No agreement over banning landmines

Humanitarian organisations have expressed disappointment over the outcome of a recent United Nations conference, convened in Geneva to draw up a convention on 'Inhumane weapons). Both NGOs, and public agencies such as UNICEF, are particularly unhappy that state representatives at the meeting were unable to agree to an immediate and comprehensive ban on anti-personnel mines. These devices, which often lie hidden in the soil for many years, kill and maim thousands of civilians in current (and former) conflict areas across the globe

Diplomats attending the Geneva conference were keen to emphasise what had been achieved. So-called 'dumb' mines, which do not self-destruct after a certain time will eventually be phased out.

Seif-destructing devices, which are still permitted under international law, will be subject to strict new standards, designed notably to ensure that they can be detected. And there will be new rules to ensure that minefieids are properly marked.

Critics point out that signatories to the Convention will not be obliged to phase out 'dumb' mines immediately and that their use will remain legal for a further nine years after the agreement enters into force.

There is also an exception to the rule about marking the location of mines, 'where direct military action makes its impossible to comply' - a not uncommon circumstance in conflict situations.

Since the Geneva Conference, a number of countries, including the United States, have announced their intention to reduce their stockpiles of mines. Few nations, however, seem willing to renounce their use altogether.

S.H. their governments have little choice but to adopt the prevailing market oriented approach.

Long-term food security

A seminar on 'Long-Term Food Security Policies' was held in Brussels on 1-3 April at the initiative of the European Commission. The meeting, which was opened by Professor Pinheiro, Commissioner with responsibility for relations with the ACP countries, brought together about a hundred participants representing Member States, third countries, international organisations and major cooperation agencies. It was also attended by experts and researchers in the field of food security.

Fulfilling a promise made by the Commission, the aim of the seminar was to clarify the long term strategic issues and take a closer look at food security policies with a view to preparing a European position for the World Food Summit scheduled for Rome in November under the auspices of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The European Community and its Member States are the world's main donors of food aid having spent ECU 1.089 billion on this in 1994. This amounted to 53% of the global total with the United States providing 44% and Japan 3%. Despite the large amounts being given, the FAO, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the World Bank are all predicting that unless global food donations are boosted significantly, certain Asian and African countries will face an alarming food deficit by the beginning of the next century.

Between 600 million and 800 million people are likely to be facing hunger by the year 2010 and the cereal needs of the developing countries could well double between now and then.

This projected scenario coincides with a period of market difficulty. World stocks are low and grain prices have risen by 40% in just one year. Whether or not this is a portent of future food shortage, it has given rise to renewed debate on the ability of certain countries and regions of the world to supply themselves and the extent to which they will have to have recourse to the international markets. Closer attention is also being paid to the wider strategies that need to be implemented to ensure food security in the future.

If one looks at the issue solely in terms of increasing supply, the projections are gloomy. Experience shows that the 'right' of access to a sufficient food supply for each of the planet's inhabitants cannot be guaranteed whether through world economic growth, food self-sufficiency at the national level, or the international markets and trade liberalisation. There is, therefore, a need for food security policies, in the developing countries in particular, which act on the conditions of demand as well as supply.

In his presentation opening the seminar, Commissioner Pinheiro stressed the fact that of the ECU 7 billion allocated by the EU for development cooperation last year, ECU 1 billion was in the form of food aid. He also noted that this aid 'category' had evolved over the last decade in the context of the search for food security and explained how the Commission, in revising the policy towards the end of 1994, had set out three essential aspects:

- the use of food aid as a policy instrument designed to achieve longterm food security with the emphasis on local purchases and 'triangular' operations - thereby encouraging the growth of the agricultural sector in the developing countries: this entailed developing a new aid instrument in which funds are available to import basic food products (as a way of encouraging the private sector to take a more active part in the economic life of those countries facing a structural food deficit);

- the integration of aid instruments into the actual development efforts of the beneficiary countries;

- improved access for the people who suffer most from food shortages.

Professor Pinheiro indicated that the Commission would shortly be presenting a communication on the strengthening of the link between development aid on the one hand and emergency, rehabilitation and food aid on the other.

He stressed the important role that food aid operations could play in preventing conflicts and easing social tensions.

According to the Commissioner, the challenge in this area have been clearly identified but he believes that additional thinking is needed, notably on the impact of events in China and the countries of the former Soviet Union, and on the effect of US and EC agricultural policies on the world markets.

In conclusion, Professor Pinheiro expressed the view that food security was, above all, a national responsibility with all civil society actors having a role to play.

Citing the rise in the price of cereals during the second half of 1995 - which had prompted concerns about the availability of food aid and its impact on the balance of payments (notably in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian sub-continent) - he gave an assurance that the Commission would remain vigilant about this. At the same time, he was concerned not to see a return to situations where aid in the form of straightforward transfers of food increased. These, he observed,

· had at least partly contributed to food costs, the destabilisation of local production and constraints on intra-regional trade. As such, they had set back or undermined the reforms in this sector in the countries concerned.

Caribbean rice exporters fear changes in OCT . rules

Guyana and Suriname, together with a number of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), have expressed concern over the European Commission's recently announced intention to change the shape of its relations with the OCTs. In particular, they are worried that proposed new rules could harm their rice sales to the 15 European Union nations.

Guyana currently exports 180 000 tonnes of rice (80% of its exports) to the KU. This is shipped initially to the Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire) to be partially milled. It then enters the EU market duty-free by virtue of the Union's existing trade rules with the OCTs. But Caribbean exporters fear that this 'OCT route' could soon be blocked by changes currently being considered in Brussels.

As already announced in issue no 157 of The Courier (May-June 1996), in the context of the mid-term review of the association with the OCTs, the Commission published a text on February 14 proposing some fine tuning to the trade preferences it grants to these territories. This has now gone forward to the Council of Ministers for decision. The Commission proposal is that while agricultural produce may continue being processed in the OCTs - and hence still benefit from the more relaxed rules - this should happen in future on a case-by-case basis, and only if priority is given to the least developed OCTs and the operations are economically justified.

In fact, preferential arrangements do apply to direct rice exports from Guyana and Suriname to the KU, but it is argued that the levies are still too high to make the trade viable.

According to Yesu Persaud, who is Chairman of Guyana's Institute of Private Enterprise; 'it is only via the OCTs that we can export to the European Union.' Mr Persaud was speaking to journalists during a lobby visit to Brussels on April 16. He was accompanied by Charles P Kennard, Chairman of the Guyana Rice Development Board and David Jessop, director of the London-based Caribbean Council for Europe.

Justifying the need for derange, some EU officials point to evidence that non-tome developing countries are 'abusing' the OCT rice route. Rice is a sensitive product for some EU nations such as Spain and Italy, who grow their own.

Mr Persaud said that Guyana and Suriname were lobbying either for their own duty-free quota under the Lomé trade rules, or for 'a more reasonable levy'. At the same time, however, he indicated that the Caribbean rice growers were keen on keeping the route open via the Dutch and other OCTs (such as Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos) where major investments have been made on the strength of the existing arrangements. A representative of the Turks and Caicos told reporters that his country earned half a million dollars a year from the trade, and that a new jetty had been built with British government support.

Guyana's rice exports have climbed from less than 39 000 tonnes in 1986 to more than 200 000 tonnes in 1995. And as Mr Persaud also stressed, the trade has done so well that Guyana is now investing in high-yielding varieties.

D.P.

Fight against locusts

Fipronil, a recently developed pesticide, is said to be 10 times more effective than other products on the market in the control of locusts, according to representatives of the pharmaceutical giant, Rhone-Poulenc who organised a seminar on locust control

Links between emergency, rehabilitation and development aid

The European commission has recently approved a communication

(COM(96) 153) which was due to be presented to the Development Council on 28 May. The document seeks to respond tO the challenge of I maintaining and improving the effectiveness of emergency aid rehabilitation assistance and development cooperation with third countries - in the face of a wide variety of political, economic and social circumstances.

The Communication suggests ways of strengthening the links between the three types of aid within a strategic planning framework which includes intensified dialogue and political cooperation.

This initiative follows extensive consultations, both within the Commission (i_ service groups) and with representatives of numerous outside bodies (Member State experts, USAID, UN agencies, NGOs, academic institutions etc.).

While the key phrase in the Communication may be 'strategy and global planning', emphasis is also placed on 'coordination' end 'opportunity'. This underlines a commitment to adapting procedures, where necessary, so that measures can be taken at the right time and the transition from emergency aid, to rehabilitation and subsequently to development cooperation can take place in the best possible conditions. with the 70-member African, Caribbean and Pacific group. The event took place in Brussels in April.

The new product, claims the company, fills a big gap that was left in the war against locust infestation when DDT was banned in 1986 (toxic residues from the chemical having been found to enter the food chain and damage the ecosystem).

It is stated that Fipronil causes 99% mortality among locusts and gives complete protection for up to three weeks when applied in doses of six grammes per hectare.

Its developers claim that it is three times cheaper than any other form of anti-locust pesticide used between 1987-1995, a calculation which includes the logistical costs involved in distributing the pesticide. It is said to be very effective in preventing locust infestations in countries in the Sahel that are particularly at risk.

The Sahel has some 250 acridian species. Of these, about 15, are known regularly to attack crops in large numbers, according to Michel Launois, who heads the French agricultural research body, CIRAD-GERDAT-PRIFAS.

At the Brussels seminar, emphasis was placed on the need for donors to set aside more funds for the prevention of locust infestations. It was also stressed that locust control must be at a regional level because of the migratory nature of the species, and the link between locust control and food security was underlined.

CIRAD-GERDAT-PRIFAS has just published an educational cartoon strip entitled 'Les Dents du Ciel 11' (available from Cirad-Gerdat-Prifas, B.P. 5035, F34032 Montpellier Cedex 1). This is intended to explain to a wide audience the need for an integrated approach to locust control.

I New fishing agreement between Angola and the EU

A new fisheries agreement between Angola and the EU was initialled on 2 May. It is due to run for three years (as opposed to two years for the previous one) and should ensure greater stability and better programming of the Community fleet's fishing activities in Angolan waters. The EU will pay Angola the sum of ECU 13.35 million per annum in exchange for improved fishing rights for European fishermen.

It is worth noting that the agreement contains certain innovations. These concern, for example, the legal status of catches (which are given Community origin). This should help to avoid the kind of dispute that has arisen in the recent past. There is also the possibility of imposing an annual biological 'rest-period' for shrimp fishing.

I African conference on consumer protection

The first African conference on consumer protection was held in Harare, Zimbabwe from 28 April to 2 May. This resulted from a joint initiative by the organization Consumers international and the United Nations, and it was supported financially by the European Commission. The latter was represented at the event by Mrs Emma Bonino, the Commissioner responsible for Consumer Policy.

The aim of the conference was to lay down the basis for a genuine consumer policy in Africa. Representatives of 45 African governments attended, together with officials from various regional and sub-regional organizations and delegates from a large number of

African consumer bodies. Coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the adoption by the UN of the guiding principles for the protection of consumers, the Conference offered an opportunity to track progress on the application of these principles in African countries. It also saw the adoption of 'model' legislation setting out the essential rights which should be guaranteed to consumers.

In her speech, Mrs Bonino stressed the Commission's commitment to supporting the efforts of African governments and consumer organisations in seeking to establish, in a clear and pragmatic way, the link between consumption and development. Evidence of this commitment, she pointed out, was to be seen in her very presence at the conference. She also lent her support to the broad application of the UN's guiding principles in Africa. This would ensure that the health, security and economic rights of African consumers could be protected.

But the European Commissioner stressed that legislation, while important, was not enough in itself to tackle the fundamental problem - which was the satisfaction of basic needs. She appealed for global action in Africa deigned to break the vicious circle of poverty - based on voluntary action at all levels.

Mrs Bonino added that the Commission would seek ways of supporting projects, in particular in the fields of food and health. This should assist citizens to meet their essential needs - with the opportunity to consume products which were different, 'local' and of better quality, and with risks to health and security minimised. The approach should avoid the exhaustion of scarce resources and respect nature. She indicated that an action plan would be drawn up by the Commission in collaboration with Consumers International. This, it was hoped, would allow financing of pilot programmes under a separate budget line which would be sought from the European Parliament for 1997.

THE INSTITUTIONS

AT WORK

COMMON FOREIGN

AND SECURITY POLICY

Within the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the European Union has recently issued a number of statements, details of which are set out below:

Towards national reconciliation in Angola

Declaration of 4 April 1996

The Troika of the European Union Ambassadors in Luanda made a formal demarche with both the Government of Angola and UNITA in order to welcome the positive outcome of the Libreville Summit between the President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and the President of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi, and in particular their commitment to establish an integrated national army by June and the creation of an appropriate institutional structure, including the formation of a government of unity and national reconciliation by June/July. The Government and UNITA were encouraged to continue to refrain from military activity and hostile propaganda and to provide for free circulation of persons and goods as soon as possible. The EU Ambassadors underlined also the importance of securing human rights as well as transparency in financial management, economic stabilisation and reforms. Having recalled the terms of reference of the EU Joint Position adopted on 2 October, 1995, the Ambassadors underlined that the Union will continue to monitor, with the greatest attention, the development of the situation particularly as regards respect for the implementation of the calendar agreed in Libreville. Welcoming the recent steps taken by UNITA, the EU expressed concern at the slow pace of the quartering and disarming of UNITA troops and urged UNITA to proceed with its commitments, in full cooperation with UNAVEM ill. The EU encouraged the Government to continue the quartering of the rapid intervention police and the disengagement and pulling back of the FAA to the nearest barracks. The importance of disarming the civilian population was also emphasised. The EU also reiterated their call to the Government and UNITA to refrain from acquiring lethal material and to cooperate fully with the de-mining process.

The EU has reiterated its full support to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Maitre Blondin Beye, to the Joint Commission and to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM).

Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia and Malta align themselves with this declaration.

Free elections in Sierra Leone

Declaration of 4 April 1996

The European Union welcomes the fact that presidential and parliamentary elections took place in Sierra Leone in a free and fair atmosphere and in fulfilment of the established timetable for the return to democracy.

The results reflect the will of the people of Sierra Leone to achieve a democratically elected civilian government despite attempts at intimidation by armed elements and the ongoing fighting in various parts of the country.

The EU welcomes the peace talks between the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the Freetown authorities as well as the intention expressed by President Kabbah to meet Mr Sankoh at the earliest possible opportunity. The EU calls on all the parties to work for peace and national reconciliation.

Serious threat to peace process in Liberia

Declaration of 11 April 1996

The European Union expresses its deep concern at the outbreak of fighting in Monrovia, which represents a serious threat to the peace process in Liberia. The EU is firmly convinced that the AbuJa agreement provides the right framework for resolving the crisis and calls upon the Council of State, the Liberian national transitional government and the Liberian factions to implement it, and to put the peace process back on track, in order to avoid further deterioration of the situation, and the violation of human rights. The EU condemns the loss of human life and the harassment of the civilian population and humanitarian workers. All parties concerned should prove their willingness to re-establish and maintain the ceasefire which represents the necessary prerequisite to disarmament and demobilization. The relevant measures and the necessary preparations can no longer be delayed. The EU asks the factions to return all weapons seized during the fighting to ECOMOG. The EU will base its attitude to Liberia on the concrete steps taken by all parties concerned to implement the Abuja agreement and bring the conflict to an end.

Treaty of Pelindaba on a nuclear weapon-free zone in Africa

Declaration of 12 April 1996

The European Union welcomes the signature in Cairo on 11 April 1996 of the Pelindaba Treaty establishing the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. The Treaty is in line with the Decision on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament issued by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference which recognised that the creation of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones enhances global and regional peace and security.

The EU considers that Nuclear Weapon Free Zones are welcome complementary instruments to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the universality of which the EU continues to promote.

The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the EU and the associated countries Cyprus and Malta align themselves with this declaration.

Appeal for the 'boat people' of Liberia

Declaration of 14 May 1996

The European Union expresses its deep concern at the grave humanitarian situation caused by the ongoing fighting in Monrovia and condemns the violence against the civilian population and the harassment of aid operations.

While recognising the enormous efforts already made by neighbouring countries to assist the hundreds of thousands of existing Liberian refugees, the Council deplores the fact that the thousands of people crammed in precarious conditions on ships in the area are still in search of a friendly port.

It appeals on humanitarian grounds to the neighbouring countries to give at least temporary shelter to these victims of the fighting and affirms its own willingness to give humanitarian aid to cover their most urgent needs.

The Council calls on all the Liberian factions to stop the fighting immediately and put the peace process back on track in order to avoid further suffering.

VISITS

The Prime Minister of Rwanda

The Prime Minister of Rwanda, Pierre Celestin Rwigema, visited Brussels from 26 to 29 March in the course of a tour aimed at informing the main donors about the work undertaken by his government in recent months and about the policies which would be implemented in the future. He was accompanied by the Minister of Planning and the Minister for Rehabilitation. The Prime Minister was received by Commissioner Pinheiro, who is responsible for relations with the ACP countries and by Mrs Bonino, the Commission member in charge of humanitarian actions. He also spoke at meetings of the External Relations and Development Committees of the European Parliament. Professor Pinheiro took the opportunity to highlight to the Prime Minister his concerns about the current situation in Rwanda, reiterating the Commission's commitment to the country and its people. He also spoke of the need for the authorities to pursue policies and implement measures leading to the restoration of normality. He said it was essential to have a dialogue with the Rwandan refugees in neighbouring countries (there are now about 1.7 million) and to pursue the pacification process under the auspices of the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity, with the involvement of all the heads of government in the Great Lakes region. Mr Rwigema's visit came at a crucial time for Rwanda. Even if the immediate crisis had passed, there was still a dire need for rehabilitation and development assistance, on top of the existing emergency aid programmes. The political situation remained delicate and the future was by no means secure, notwithstanding some encouraging signs of a progressive improvement as exemplified by the Tunis summit. The recent nomination of

Aldo Ajello as the EU's special envoy to the Great Lakes region underlined the political and moral dimension of the EU's commitment to the peace process in this troubled part of Africa.

SUPPORT FOR HUMAN

RIGHTS

The Commission has recently decided to provide the following financing for projects under the budget line 'Support for. democratisation and human rights'. Non-ACP countries

Central America: ECU 180.000 to support seven national and one regional fore aimed at providing training in the field of human rights for instructors.

Central America: ECU 100.000 for a democracy consolidation training programme for 30 teams from various organisations in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Central America/Colombia: ECU 263.000 for a series of actions, notably in Colombia, involving the provision of information on human and citizens' rights.

Brazil: ECU 190.000 for a project designed to boost the civil rights of black people in the country, through the training of judicial personnel and the strengthening of legislation against race discrimination.

Brazil: ECU 145.000 for a training programme for magistrates, prosecutors and the police aimed at facilitating the uniform application of the law in the State of São Paulo.

Brazil: ECU 290.000 for a training programme in the sphere of democratic municipal management, in the cities of Recife, Porto Alegre, Santos and Fortaleza.

Guatemala: ECU 308.000 for a project to collect and make available the case law of the Constitutional Court, and to train officials and members of civil society.

Honduras: ECU 326.000 to support the National Human Rights Commission with a view to promoting such rights in the Departments of Comayagua and Olancho.

Honduras: ECU 131.000 for an education programme dealing with civic and electoral issues and the rights of children.

Mexico: ECU 20.000 to support an initial Latin-American colloquium on the subject of the Ombudsman (in the face of the objectives and challenges of the region).

Nicaragua: ECU 285.000 to support the social rehabilitation of minors in custody.

Panama: ECU 125.000 for a training action in the field of the defence of human rights.

Panama: ECU 250.000 to support a communication campaign designed to strengthen the image of the 'people's ombudsman'.

Venezuela: ECU 160.000 to strengthen the institution of Justices of the Peace in the country's municipalities.

Venezuela: ECU 100.000 ECU for a training and promotion action in the field of human rights and the strengthening of civil society.

EUROPEAN

DEVELOPMENT FUND

Following, where required, favourable opinions from the EDF Committee, the Commission has decided to provide grants and special loans from the 5th, 6th and 7th EDFs to finance the following operations (grants unless otherwise stated). Major projects and programmes are highlighted.

Economic and social infrastructure

Cameroon: ECU 7.3 million for a programme aimed at protecting the urban boundary of the city of Kousseri from the encroachments of the Logone river, to improve sanitation and for the upgrading of an urban access route towards Chad.

Ghana: ECU 54 million for a transport infrastructure programme aimed at facilitating the social and economic development of the people living in the recisions in question (Western region, Brong Afaho, the Ashanti region).

Ghana: ECU 3.8 million for a human resource development programme designed to achieve better planning, management and implementation of development projects.

Kenya: ECU 1.9 million for a project to support the development of tourism.

Mozambique: ECU 385 000 to extend the water supply system in the town of Mantola

Chad: ECU 13.5 million to upgrade the Ere-Kelo road

Trade promotion/ structural adjustment

Benin-Cameroon Côte-d'lvoire-GhanaGuinea-Togo: ECU 1.99 million for a regional programme of trade activities and training with a view to relaunching the pineapple business in West and Central Africa.

Burkina Faso: ECU 180 000 for the construction of an 'export and creativity' pavilion at the Salon international de l'artisanat in Ouagadougou.

Papua-New Guinea: ECU 5.3 million for the fourth structural adjustment support programme.

Agriculture

Madagascar: ECU 1.9 million for a rice irrigation project.

Enterpris

Botswana: ECU 33.7 million from the Sysmin fund, to support the work of the BCL, Tati and FEB mining companies in the SelebiPhikwe region.

Health

Dominican Republic: ECU 1.3 million to support the STD-HIV-AIDS prevention programme.

Education

Madagascar: ECU 1.9 million for a decentralised training project in favour of regional tourism operators.

Tuvalu: ECU 300 000 for the rehabilitation of primary schools on the islands of Nukutetau and Nanumea.

Environment

Central Africa (Cameroon-Central African Republic-Congo-GabonEquatorial Guinea): ECU 16 million for phase 2 of the ECOFAC project (Conservation and rational utilisation of forest ecosystems in Central Africa).

Institutional support

Malawi: ECU 1 million towards a study aimed at allowing the government to implement its land reform policy.

Eritrea: ECU 4.5 million for a study aimed at allowing the government to undertake proper planning in the area of water resources and irrigation.

Miscellaneous

Pacific region: ECU 4.9 million for a project designed to improve the efficiency and security at certain airports.

HUMANITARIAN AID

ACP countries

Mali: ECU 1 million towards the reintegration of some 200 000 Malians who fled to Algeria and Mauritania during the rebellions of the 1980s.

Mozambique: ECU 317 000 for victims of the severe floods that struck the centre and south of the country recently.

Nigeria: ECU 850 000 to help fight the meningitis epidemic affecting seven provinces of the country.

Sierra Leone: ECU 700 000 in urgent food and medical assistance for some 250 000 refugees who fled to the areas around the towns of Bo and Kemena following the fighting.

Chad: ECU 200 000 to help fight the meningitis epidemic.

Zaire: ECU 145 000 to help victims of the cholera epidemic and to assist in preventing its further spread (following the course of the Zaire river).

Non-ACP countries

Colombia: ECU 60 000 to help fight cholera in the municipality of Silvia, where some 40 000 are under threat due to a lack of drinking water and deficiencies in basic hygiene.

Guatemala: ECU 1.52 million to provide food aid and basic essentials to returnees from other parts of the country, and from Mexico, following years of civil war.

Armenia/Azerbaijan: ECU 11.57 million (ECU 4.07m for Armenia and ECU 7.5m for Azerbaijan), for food and medical assistance, targeted at the most vulnerable sections of the population, and for the provision of agricultural materials with a view to reducing progressively the dependence of the refugees, who are victims of the conflict in Nagomo-Karabakh.

Caucasus-Georgia-Tadilkistan: ECU 3.2 million for food aid to be targeted at the most vulnerable sections of the population.

Georgia: ECU 7.43 million for victims of the internal conflict in this country where the loss of the Russian market has seriously undermined the rural economy.

Lebanon: ECU 600 000 for displaced people, to allow for the purchase of basic essentials including food, medicines, shelter and blankets.

Afghanistan: ECU 600 000 for health infrastructures in the refugee camps around Jalalabad, and for medical aid to refugees in the town of Herat. Indonesia: ECU 120 000 for toots and materials to construct shelters for the victims of the earthquake that struck in February. China (Tibetan nomads): ECU 550 000 for food aid, medicines and blankets for some 72 000 people living in the mountainous regions who have been badly hit by severe weather and a food shortage.

FOOD AID


The Commission has recently taken decisions to finance food aid as set out in the chart which follows:

 

 

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