AfDB Supports Demobilization and Reintegration in the Great Lakes Region
Tunis, 25 February 2009 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Board of Directors has approved a grant of 14 million Units of Account (UA)*, equivalent to US$ 20.9 million, to help finance a Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Transitional Support Program (MDRTSP) in the Great Lakes Region.
The Program aims at ensuring the effective reintegration of ex-combatants in the Great Lakes Region in order to improve prospects for peace building and economic recovery in the region.
The program covers the seven countries of the Great Lakes Region targeted by the original MDRP, namely Angola, Central African Republic (CAR), Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, with special focus on fragile states (Burundi, CAR and the DRC).
The MDRTSP is fully consistent with the Bank’s Strategy for Enhanced Engagement in Fragile States -which aims at fostering regional approaches to post-conflict development- and the Operational Framework for Regional Operations.
It is also fully consistent with the Principles of Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations that complement the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the 2008 commitments approved by donors and partner countries on addressing fragility and conflicts in the Accra Action Agenda (AAA). The Agenda acknowledges that donor support for peace and state-building is crucial in alleviating poverty and facilitating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
The Program, which was launched in 2002 to support demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, will close in June 2009. Some of the achievements of the MDRP as at November 2008 include the demobilization of 279,165 combatants (68% of the original target), the reintegration of 254,369 ex-combatants) and the reintegration of 300,160 ex-combatants representing 75% of the target. In addition, 30,219 children had been provided with services by child protection agencies. However, a lot still needs to be accomplished, which is what this transitional programme seeks to address
The establishment of a transitional regional multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) for the MDRTSP by early 2009 will ensure that the regional framework for demobilization and reintegration continues, including sustained financing and technical support to the targeted fragile states.
The overall program cost is estimated at UA 16.31 million (US$ 24.27 million). The African Development Fund (ADF) grant represents 85.8% of the costs. The Italian, Finnish, Canadian, Norwegian and Swedish governments have made confirmed pledges amounting to UA 2.31 million that will cover the remaining 14.2% of the expenditures.
*1 UA = US$ 1.49192 as at 25/02/2009