CAR

Central African Republic: EU resumes €100m aid to Bangui

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AMSTERDAM, 18 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - The European Union (EU) has resumed aid worth € 100 million (about US $120.4 million) to the Central African Republic (CAR) over two years of partial suspension.

"It is a full and entire resumption within the framework of the Cotonou Accord," Sergio Scuero, the EU desk officer for CAR, told IRIN on Monday from Brussels.

Full aid was resumed on 1 July. Scuero said the cooperation programme, which started in 2002, would end in 2007. He said the 2003 partial suspension had only targeted macroeconomic sectors, road construction and refuse collection in the capital, Bangui. The health, education and social sectors were unaffected, he said.

With the full resumption, the EU plans to resume construction of the road between Bouar, 454 km northwest of Bangui, and the Cameroonian border. The poor state of the 200-km road has been a hindrance to CAR's economy, especially during the June-December rainy reason. All the country's imports and exports are transported along this road to the Cameroonian port of Douala.

The EU had condemned the 15 March 2003 coup that brought President Bozize to power. Bozize, who overthrew President Ange-Felix Patassé after a six-month rebellion, was elected president democratically in May after a two-year transition. Scuero said the EU had disbursed about €5 million ($about 6 million) for the election, and had also provided logistics.

Meanwhile, the prime minister of the Republic of Congo, Elie Dote, is due in Brussels on Monday. Scuero said Dote would be meeting EU officials, but did not reveal the agenda.

[ENDS]

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