Brussels, 12 April 2011
Following the Foreign Affairs Council's discussions on Ivory Coast today, Commissioner Piebalgs made the following announcement:
"The Commission will prepare a first comprehensive recovery package of €180 million in cooperation with the government of Ivory Coast. We will stand by Ivory Coast and its people by immediately starting to work with the government of President Ouattara to support him in getting the country on the right track towards reconciliation, democracy, economic recovery and sustainable development. The EU recovery package will notably provide support to ensure basic social needs, such as health, water and sanitation; and the agriculture sector. It will also clear Ivory Coast debt accumulated vis-à-vis the European Investment Bank.
We will have to ensure the link between current humanitarian action and longer term development cooperation. This is also crucial for the long-term stability and development of the whole West African region.
There is no time to lose, and I will visit Ivory Coast to agree on priorities for re-launching development cooperation once conditions allow it."
Commissioner Piebalgs also insisted on the importance of a strong coordinated package between the Commission and Member States, in order to ensure an optimal use of the aid budgets.
Throughout the last four months of crisis, the EU has never ceased to support the Ivorian population, not only through humanitarian actions, but also through the direct support to NGOs who provided social services and worked on human rights issues.