As the first EU official to visit Côte d'Ivoire after the crisis, EU Commissioner for Development Cooperation, Andris Piebalgs, will meet President Ouattara on Friday 6 May in Abidjan to confirm EU's full support towards stability and recovery of economic activities. They will discuss the government priorities for short and medium term support to stabilise the country and to ease the conditions of life of the population. Commissioner Piebalgs and President Ouattara will also sign three projects worth €44 million in support of the agriculture sector (€26 million) and reform of the justice sector (€18 million).
Ahead of the visit, EU Commissioner Piebalgs said: "I made the commitment to come to Côte d'Ivoire at this early stage after the end of the severe crisis in order to express the European Union's support for the country and its government in re-establishing its political stability, democratic order, and economic strength for the benefit of the population of Côte d'Ivoire. I will discuss the priority needs with the authorities and make sure EU aid is rapidly delivered. The EU will stand in the long run by President Ouattara in his endeavour to reconcile and re-launch the development of the country".
Addressing the immediate and medium-term needs for development
On 12 April 2011, Commissioner Piebalgs announced a budget of €180 million to support the recovery of the country. He also announced a first identification mission to Côte d'Ivoire to initiate the dialogue with President Ouattara and his government. Ivorian authorities expressed their wishes to use a large part of the budget provided by the EU to support an aid package focussing on reform of the security sector; health; vocational training, facilitating the entry of young people into the job market; transport; non-governmental organisations, and governance.
The EU is also about to re-launch projects that were interrupted during the crisis and which focus particularly on the provision of energy and water in Côte d'Ivoire. Some projects, especially those supporting non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that worked for the well-being of the population, have been continued throughout the crisis.
To help mitigate the immediate effects of the crisis, The European Commission's humanitarian aid department (ECHO) has been working in Côte d'Ivoire since the early days of the humanitarian crisis. In December 2010, the Commission adopted an emergency humanitarian aid decision to assist the refugees that fled violence in the country toward neighbouring Liberia and other parts of Côte d'Ivoire. The EU has provided about €55 million for humanitarian aid inside Côte d'Ivoire and for the refugees in neighbouring countries. Of that assistance, the Commission has contributed €30 million for humanitarian aid. Inside Côte d'Ivoire, the Commission's humanitarian work has focussed on civil protection, the provision of clean water, food and health services. The European Commission's humanitarian experts will stay in Côte d'Ivoire and continue to assess needs and to support the supply of basic goods and services. To ensure the crucial link between humanitarian support and longer-term development assistance, the Commission will open a humanitarian office in Abidjan.
A TV crew from Europe by Satellite will accompany the visit and images will be available on http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm
See also MEMO/11/241 from 12 April 2011 – "Commissioner Piebalgs announces a recovery package of €180 million for Ivory Coast"
Website of EU Delegation in Côte d'Ivoire - http://www.delciv.ec.europa.eu/
Website of Devco dedicated to Côte d'Ivoire -
Website of EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs