Cover Image
close this bookThe Courier N° 156 - March - April 1996 - Dossier: Trade in Services - Country Report : Madagascar (EC Courier, 1996, 96 p.)
close this folderCTA Bulletin
View the documentFighting the foe and befriending the friend
View the documentThe courier’s mailbag
View the documentBibliography
View the documentNews round-up (yellow pages)

News round-up (yellow pages)

In brief

A bold and innovative approach to future ACP-EU relations

The Dakar Plan of Action adopted by the Joint Assembly (February 1995) and the various speeches made during the conclusion of the Mid-term Review negotiations in Mauritius (November 1995) call for an innovative approach to future EU-ACP relations. As a contribution to this, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM, Maastricht) has launched a programme to stimulate the debate on the future of ACP-EU cooperation.

The mid-term review negotiations of the Lomé Convention clearly indicate that the partnership in aid and cooperation between the EU and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific is under severe pressure. The reluctance of several Member States to provide sufficient resources to the new European Development Fund is the expression of a much broader shift in European development policy. Traditional EU approaches towards foreign policy, security, aid and trade are being reviewed. European geopolitical interests are shifting to the Mediterranean region and Eastern Europe. Trade relations are threatened by increased economic liberalisation and development aid is all the more scarce and subject to conditionalities. In short, the Lomé Convention seems no longer to be a political priority for the EU and its relevance and viability beyond 2000 is openly being questioned.

This scepticism about the 20 year-old privileged cooperation is based on the persistent view that Lomé funds and trade preferences have had little impact on development in the ACPs. It is also felt that these special relations have lost much of their initial relevance today.

While the EU and its Member States are starting to reflect on how best to manage their future relations with ACP countries, the latter must not be onlookers to this process. In the run up to negotiations for a possible 'Lomé V' they need, as Sir Aneerood Jugnauth of Mauritius has suggested, 'a bold, innovative approach; an approach which requires vision and daring'.

Redifining Lomé will not be an easy task. The Convention has been in existence for over 20 years and, in spite of four revision processes that have tinkered with procedures and added ambitious goals, it has never been subjected to an in-depth redefinition. An effective post-Lomé IV construction needs fresh ideas from ACP actors (governments, regional organisations, private sector, NGOs, academics) as well as receptive European decision makers.

Hence, the time is ripe to start a constructive debate on the future of development cooperation between the EU and the countries forming the ACP group. How do different actors in ACP societies perceive their future relations with Europe? What are the common interests on which a more solid partnership can be built? What principles .or mechanisms should be preserved from the current Lomé Convention?

What have been the bottlenecks of EU-ACP cooperation and what are the examples of positive impact? An unbiased reply to these questions is needed to launch the redesign of ACP-EU relations.

Against this background the ECDPM, as an independent foundation with links to both the ACP and the EU, has begun to canvass ACP views on the future of Lomé and to feed them back into the on-going European debate. The objectives of such an exercise are threefold:

- to promote an ACP-driven debate on the future of ACP-EU relations, thus facilitating ACP agenda-setting for ACP-EU negotiations.

- to encourage linkages between different sources of expertise on Lomé (NGOs, economic sectors, experts, research institutions) in ACP countries and in the EU

- to mediate between these sources of expertise and the policy-makers.

In pursuing these objectives, the 'beyond Lomé IV' exercise comprises a number of activities. Consultations with ACP institutions and organisations have taken place through field missions in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions. Close linkages have been established with EU institutions and Member-States as well as joint EU-ACP fora (Joint Assembly, Annual meeting of Social and Economic Representatives). Inputs of all these actors are sought and will be further discussed at a conference in Maastricht on 26-28 June 1996, that will gather a broad and representative mix of ACP and EU actors. The role of ECDPM in this programme is as informer (about the state of the debate in Europe, and in the ACP), coordinator (by organising the different activities foreseen) and broker (between the ACP actors and their European counterparts and between the development actors and researchers and the policy-makers). The substance of the post-Lomé IV debate will be provided by the stake holders and participants in the initiative.

The reflection on the future of EU-ACP relations is starting. It is essential that different organisations working on this topic join forces and keep each other informed about new thinking and options. The ACP-EU Courier will, of course, be one of the major information tools in this context. From the EC[?PM side, we will also be publishing a quarterly newsletter entitled Lomé 2000 - designed to highlight some of the issues at stake and serve as a written forum for debate. This and other relevant material, will be accessible on Internet.

For more information about the 'Beyond Lomé IV' initiative, please contact ECDPM, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Plein 21 6211 HE Maastricht, the Nether/ands, tel: +31-(0)43-325 51 21, fax: +31-(0)43-325 36 36, e-mail: akg erdpm.org, internet: http :/lwww.oneworid.orgleuloric

NGOs lobby IGC on development issues

The Brussels-based Liaison Committee of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the European umbrella body for development NGOs, is lobbying for greater 'coherence' between the EU's development policy and other policies, such as agriculture. This is one of the key elements in a statement * drawn up for the Inter-Governmental Conference (lGC) of EU leaders.

It is widely acknowledged that significant reforms of EU institutions will be on the agenda of the IGC. The NGOs, however, are fearful that development policy may be left out of the discussions. It is worth recalling that the Maastricht Treaty introduced reforms in this area. Title XVII, on development cooperation included commitments to promote:

- the sustainable economic and social development of the developing countries and more particularly the most disadvantaged among them;

- the smooth and gradual integration of the developing countries into the world economy;

- the campaign against poverty in the developing countries.

But the NGOs regret that Maastricht has 'not led to any decisive improvement in the impact of the Union's development programmes on the intended beneficiaries.' An example of such lack of coherence, they say, is the harm done to local producers by 'dumping' of EU subsidised beef on West African markets.

The ICG, they argue, provides an opportunity to place relations with the developing world 'nearer the centre of Europe's legal and institutional foundations'. They add that it could be used to eliminate the 'contradictions' arising from practices in other important fields of Union policy, which, they insist, undermine the effect of agreed and established development policy. The NGOs believe that it is important to reiterate the basics of Community development policy at the level of the European institutions. This is necessary, they argue, to avoid a further 'shift' in priorities towards the Commonwealth of Independent States, Central and Eastern Europe (where some countries are already candidates for EU accession) and the Mediterranean.

The report points out that 'many of the (Union's) potential new members currently have little involvement in development cooperation focused on Africa, Asia and Latin America' and that they are 'mainly concerned with their own economic transformation.'

The paper's main recommendation to the IGC is that there should be a strengthening of Title XVII of the EC Treaty to include references to women and development, 'partnership', the budgetisation of Lomé, emergency aid, rehabilitation and disaster preparedness, and coordination with international bodies.

It also calls for better conflict prevention, with the creation of a 'conflict planning cell' and the implementation of an arms export policy.' The first step towards an effective policy in respect of the arms trade would be for the EU Council of Ministers to make export controls subject to a joint action procedure, with the adoption of an enforceable code of conduct involving 'the highest levels of control.'

The text underlines the need for coherence, not only with agriculture policy, but also in the context of areas such as immigration and asylum policy. it recommends a progressive transfer of competences to the Union in the latter fields with a view to establishing common policies that are based on realistic limits and humanitarian considerations.

European development NGOs will hold a think-tank on scenarios for development policy and the IGC on April 1920, directly following their annual general assembly. A Summit of EU leaders to launch the IGC will be held in Turin, Italy, on March 29 1996. D.P.

Italy: orientations for a new development cooperation policy

In 1995, the Italian Government updated the aims of its development policy to take account of its commitments under the Maastricht Treaty, international trends, the evolution of Italy's own foreign relations and the domestic budget situation.

The underlying goals of the country's cooperation policy remain largely unchanged. These include participating in international efforts aimed at helping developing countries, contributing to the fight against poverty and pursuing humanitarian objectives. The Italian authorities stress that budget restraints at home should not interfere with the pursuit of these goals although they are looking to integrate their activities more closely with those of the broader international community. Understandably they are also keen to focus on countries or regions whose situation may impact directly on Italy's own security. In this regard, they plan to concentrate their efforts in defined geographical areas which include the Horn of Africa, Southern Africa, ex-Yugoslavia, Albania and the eastern Mediterranean.

Italy's new emphasis on coordination and complementarity within the EU (and indeed with other donors), is very much in keeping with the spirit of the Treaty on European Union. So too is its express desire to improve the transparency and efficiency of the aid that it makes available. In this context, the government is updating its procedures for identifying and implementing development initiatives - the latter to include a 'project cycle' model setting out the different phases for correct management.

In concrete terms, the Italian authorities plan to focus their support on a number of key areas namely, environmental protection, demographic stabilisation, regional integration, education, the fight against drugs/organised crime and the fight against AIDS. ed S.H.

Suspension of aid to Nigeria....

Following the announcement of the execution in Nigeria of political leaders recently condemned to death, Professor Joao de Deus Pinheiro, the Commissioner responsible for relations with the ACP countries, made the following statement (dated 12 December 1995):

'The European Commission is horrified by the execution of the writer Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other leaders from the Ogoni minority. In the Commission's view, this decision, which comes after a deeply flawed legal procedure, is a clear sign of the contempt of the Nigerian regime for human rights and merely highlights its lack of commitment for a return to democracy and legitimate government, a wish expressed as recently as 1 October by General Abacha.

'In the light of this event, the European Commission has decided to take the necessary measures to suspend development cooperation with the government of Nigeria and to recall the head of the Commission's Delegation in Nigeria.

'The Commission will propose to its partners that they take additional restrictive measures, to include consolidation of the measures which have been in existence since 1993'.

In a similar vein, on 20 November the Council adopted a common position confirming the following measures adopted in 1993:

- suspension of cooperation;

- restrictions on the issuing of visas to members of the military or to members of the security forces and their families;

- suspension of military visits;

- restrictions on travel for all Nigerian military personnel;

- cancellation of training courses for all Nigerian military personnel;

- suspension of all non-essential high-level visits both to and from Nigeria;

The Council has now adopted the following supplementary measures:

- restrictions on the issuing of visas to members of the Provisional Government Council and of the Federal Executive Committee and their families;

- an embargo on arms, munitions and military equipment.

Development cooperation is suspended, although exceptions may be made in respect of projects and programmes promoting human rights, democratisation and poverty alleviation.

The General Affairs Council on 4 December decided to add further sanctions to the measures already adopted. It agreed that the European Union would strive to obtain a resolution on Nigeria at the 50th UN General Assembly, and to have the situation in Nigeria added to the agenda of the Human Rights Commission of that organisation.

The supplementary sanctions are as follows:

- in accordance with their national legislation and their own immigration procedures, the non-admission by EU Member States of members of the Nigerian military and security forces (and their families in possession of long-term visas;

- expulsion of military personnel attached to Nigeria's diplomatic missions in EU States and withdrawal of military personnel attached to the diplomatic missions of EU Member States in Nigeria;

- the breaking-off of all sports contacts by refusing to grant vises to official delegations and to national teams;

These measures are applicable for six months from 4 December 1995 and may be renewed.

At the end of the six-month period, if a general analysis of the situation in Nigeria reveals that the authorities have taken no steps to promote a rapid transition towards democracy and to guarantee respect for human rights, additional sanctions will be envisaged.

... and Niger

In the wake of the coup d'état which took place recently in Niger, the European Union has decided to suspend aid to this country. The text of the declaration adopted by the General Affairs Council of the EU may be found in the second part of this News Round-up ('The Institutions at Work')

Development Council looks at new aid budgets

The biannual Council of Development Ministers, which was held on 20 December 1996, was largely taken up with discussion on the management procedures for new Commission regulations on budget lines benefiting all developing countries. Hitherto, there has been something of a legal vacuum in this area.

The Council was chaired by Spain's Minister of State for International Cooperation and Latin America, Jose Luis Dicenta Ballester.

In keeping with the EU's policy on transparency, defined on July 17 1995, ministers held a public debate in the morning on a new food aid security regulation involving some ECU 500 million per annum. The regulation groups all existing provisions in a single instrument and covers financing of new areas such as allocation of inputs, seeds, stocking and rapid alert systems.

Projects such as support for food security, the setting up of alert systems to identify risks such as drought, and stocking programmes designed to avert crises in certain countries that suffer structural food shortages, are eligible to receive funds. These include the possibility of direct support to the private sector.

Ministers agreed that such aid should be integrated as fully as possible with the development policies and food strategies of the countries concerned, without negatively affecting local markets.

The Commission can decide on projects costing less than ECU 2 million: above this amount they still have to go to the Council of Ministers for approval by the EU Member States.

Many ministers underlined that EU aid should not harm the interests of local populations. 'Anyone who has been to Tanzania has to be struck by the (negative) effects on the local population of massive international efforts', claimed Joan Burton, Ireland's Secretary of State for overseas development aid.

Another text was adopted on the management of humanitarian aid under the auspices of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO). In 1994, this type of aid reached ECU 765 million. From now on, ECHO itself can take decisions on projects under ECU 10 million, without consulting Member States.

The Council agreed on the management of an annual aid sum of ECU 125 million (ECU 500m between 19951999) for South Africa - although the Commission did not agree with the common position. This will now be forwarded to the European Parliament under the cooperation procedure.

Member States were unable to reach agreement on rules concerning cofinancing with NGOs and decentralised cooperation. A regulation on rehabilitation aid for developing countries was accepted, although the Commission disagreed with its content. Any project costing over 2 million ECU must be submitted for the approval of Member States. And ministers moved closer towards consensus at the meeting on a regulation on refugees in developing countries in Asia and Latin America. This budget line covers self sufficiency and re-integration of displaced persons.

Texts on the general principles of cooperation to be followed by the EU to promote equality between the sexes, and on priorities to be given in EU aid to conserve tropical forests in developing countries, under a four year, ECU 200 million programme (1996-1999), were adopted.

The text dealing with tropical forests spells out what type of projects can be funded. A point worth noting is that governments are not the only potential beneficiaries. Decentralised bodies, regional organisations, public agencies, local and traditional communities, private operators, cooperatives, NGOs and associations that are involved in forest conservation and represent forest dwellers may also have access to funds.

The EU is particularly keen to back projects which conserve or renew tropical forests, contribute to sustainable development, encourage certification systems, help forest dwellers with training, management and research, reinforce legal systems, encourage conservation research projects, and create special conservation zones for forest regeneration.

The development ministers also agreed on the text of a declaration concerning Burundi which called for a Christmas cease-fire 'from December 24 to January with the possibility of prolongation.' The Council recommended the appointment of a special EU mediator to engage in dialogue with the refugee populations in Rwanda and Burundi and their respective governments, as well as with neighbouring countries.

There was also discussion of the European Commission's trade talks with South Africa which, it is hoped, will be concluded during 1996. Britain's overseas development minister, Linda Chalker, remarked: 'It is important for us and other European nations to have access to South Africa just as it is important for them to have access to our market.'D.P.

Development Council discusses the role of women

During the same session, the Development Council acknowledged - in a resolution on sexual equality - that the elimination of current disparities between women and men is an essential aspect of development from the standpoints bath of aid effectiveness and social justice.

The Council undertook to give priority to the participation of women in development. This was one of the many undertakings made in Peking at the World Conference on Women in September 1995, and followed the Commission's recommendations on the subject.

The Ministers set out the general principles which must, in future, guide the establishment of development cooperation. Integral to this is the notion of sexual equality, at the level of both the EU and its Member States. The Council stressed that any measure should apply across the board, both in the formulation of development policies and in negotiations with partner countries.

It also called for 'positive action' aimed at ironing out disparities between men and women. The important role of non-governmental organisations in this area was emphasised and reference was made to the possibility of support for women's organisations and networks.

In addition, the Council thought there was a need to strengthen the Commission's and the Member States' internal capacities in these matters.

This would entail special training for personnel working in the development field, priority integration of sex equality issues in emergency, crisis prevention and poverty alleviation operations, and the establishment of a monitoring system.

Finally, in calling for closer collaboration between the Community and the Member States, the Council invited the Commission to undertake collaborative actions with the Member States and to draft specific proposals on common factors and criteria. The aim is for the Commission to report on progress made in this area at a future Development Council meeting.

Fighting racism, xenophobia and antisemitism: the EU's role

As signalled in issue no. 154 (News Round-up, p. III the Commission adopted a communication (the first of its type) on December 13 1995, on the subject of racism, xenophobia and antisemitism. It also proposed to the Council that 1997 should be designated as 'European Year Against Racism'.

The document is aimed essentially at coordinating the Commission's activities with the global strategy of the Union and its Member States in this area. In addition, it responds to urgent appeals made by the European Parliament. In the document, the Commission stresses in particular, that:

- the fight against racism cannot be dissociated from the European identity;

- the EC's commitment to respect for fundamental rights is henceforth enshrined in the Treaty;

- the increasing prevalence of racist and xenophobic attitudes goes against the principle of entitlement to equal treatment and to freedom from discrimination.

Mediterranean Europe: a new era

Although the European Community has, since its inception, enjoyed a privileged relationship with countries on the south side of the Mediterranean Basin - through cooperation agreements and financial protocols - this cooperation has nevertheless had only limited success over the past three decades. Today, the EU is the main partner of the Mediterranean countries, responsible for more than 50% of the commercial exchanges that these countries are involved in - but the region only accounts for one third of the EU's total extra-Community trade.

The respective economic weights of the two zones partly explains this imbalance. Nonetheless, Europe's share of trade with the Mediterranean countries has barely changed over the last 20 years.

Upheavals in Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall, which have prompted an opening-up towards countries in central and eastern Europe, could also have the effect of exacerbating the imbalance.

Aware of this situation, the Heads of State and Government meeting in Corfu in June 1994 reaffirmed the strategic importance of the Mediterranean Basin, thereby providing the political impetus which led to the Interministerial Conference in Barcelona on 27 and 28 November 1995.

This conference brought together the Foreign Ministers of the 15 EU countries and of 12 other states around the Mediterranean (Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the Palestinian authorities). This was an event of major importance, both because it brought together some countries which are still in conflict with one another, and because it laid the foundations for a new 'Euro-Mediterranean partnership'.

The Declaration which was unanimously adopted at the end of the Conference views such cooperation from three angles:

- a political and security partnership intended to define a common area of peace and stability based on democracy and respect for human rights;

- an economic and financial partnership aimed at constructing a zone of shared prosperity;

- a partnership in the social, cultural and human fields to permit development of human resources, and to promote understanding between cultures and exchanges between civilian societies.

It shouid be pointed out that one of the most tangible aspects of progress made at the Conference, in an economic context, was the progressive establishment of a free-trade area, which the partners aim to create by 2010. This will cover the bulk of their trade, taking into account World Trade Organisation obligations.

In their determination to give concrete expression to a Euro-Mediterranean partnership, the ministers also adopted a working programme aimed at translating into reality the objectives defined in the Barcelona Declaration.

In addition to the free-trade area already mentioned, economic cooperation will also aim to eliminate obstacles to investment, to assist in the modernisation of industry and to develop competition. The plan is that such cooperation should extend to the fields of agriculture, transport, energy, telecommunications and information technologies, regional planning, tourism, the environment, science and technology, water supplies and fishing.

From a social, cultural and human angle, the aim of cooperation will be to develop human resources (covering education, training, the role of women, etc.) and to establish a close association between regions and local districts. It will also promote dialogue between cultures and civilisations, particularly between the various religions present in the region, as well as media interaction, youth exchanges and exchanges between representatives of civil society. Other areas of interest include Social development and health, as well as cooperation in combatting terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime and illegal immigration.

As stressed by Vice-President Manuel Marin, who represented the Commission at the Barcelona Conference, it will not be easy to achieve everything envisaged in the new partnership accord. Mr Marin characterised the EU's efforts as 'catalytic', although he added that they would have no effect if they were not translated into concrete action by the Mediterranean partners. He assured his audience that the Commission would do everything in its power to help those who were prepared to take on this challenge.

The closing speech was given by the Spanish Prime Minister, Felipe Gonzalez. He confirmed that Barcelona represented 'the culmination of long held aspirations and the point of departure for a new partnership which will benefit 800 million people'.

It should be recalled that, to support the reforms involved, EU leaders decided, at the Cannes summit in June 1995, to give their Mediterranean partners financial aid amounting to ECU 4.7 billion for the period 19951999. A further ECU 5 billion (approximately) will be available in loans from the EIB.

Professor Pinheiro in Southern Africa

Commissioner Pinheiro, accompanied by the Comimission's Director-General for Development, Steffen Smidt, and other officials attended the SADC Consultative Conference on Trade and Investment which took place in Johannesburg from 31 January to 2 February.

Since 1987, SADC has organised an annual conference to discuss key areas of policy and to articulate strategies for addressing the specific constraints to development in the region.

It is intended that mechanisms be set up for permanent, ongoing dialogue between SADC government policy makers and the private sector. These will entail a direct contribution from the latter in policy development concerning trade and investment in the region - a clear indication of the fact that the private sector is viewed as the principal engine of growth.

This year's Conference was import ant for a number of reasons. It is the first time that the meeting had been held in South Africa, which joined the organisation in August 1994. it is also the first time that Mauritius has taken part, this country having acceded to SADC (which now has 12 member states) in August 1995. With the two new members, SADC now has a population of more 130 million. It also generates 60% of sub-Saharan Africa's GDP.

The participation of the private sector was also a 'first', coming at a time which sees the transition to a market economy under way in countries such as Tanzania, Mozabique and Angola. The organisation is also in the process of formulating a trade protocol with the ultimate objective of creating a regional common market.

In his speech, which followed the opening presentation delivered by President Mandela, Professor Pinheiro emphasised how important it was for Southern Africa to increase intra-regional trade and investment flows. He reaffirmed the European Union's commitment, first made at the SADC/EU conference in Berlin, to support the region's efforts, and laid particular stress on the trade protocol, which would be the first of its kind in Africa.

In the course of his visit to South Africa, the Commissioner also signed an agreement with President Mandela for a human rights programme. This will have a budget of ECU 15 million covering a three-year period, and will be implemented by NGOs. Their task will be to help create a human rights 'culture' in the country through actions designed to give the people wider access to fundamental rights, and activities aimed at increasing public awareness of the subject.

Professor Pinheiro also took the opportunity to visit Angola. where he had discussions with President José Eduardo dos Santos. He met with a high level UNITA delegation (although Mr Savimbi was not present), and with Maitre Beye the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the country. The Commissioner had two useful meetings with the EU Ambassadors, during which he underlined the important role which Member States have to play in Angola.

Professor Pinheiro's visit came at a time when further support for the peace process is thought to be needed. The importance of convincing the parties to implement all aspects of the Lusaka peace accord is widely recognised. The Commissioner's visit coincided with those of Brian Attwood, of USAID and Boris Kolokolev, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister. The Portuguese President, Mario Soares, and Madeline Albright, the US Ambassador to the UN, had also recently been to the country.

Professor Pinheiro participated in a special meeting - organised in his honour - of the Joint Commission in charge of the follow-up to the Lusaka Peace Protocol. No decisions were expected of such a meeting, but the formal declarations of commitment to the Protocol undoubtedly had a positive impact, not least because of the extensive media coverage given to the event. Participants included representatives of i the Angolan government, Unita, the , Troika (USA, Portugal and Russia) and the UN.

Two financing agreements were signed in the course of the Commissioners stay in Angola. These were for a total of ECU 63.24 million of which ECU 55 million is to support the reconstruction programme that was put forward by the government at the Brussels Round Table in September 1995. This is one of the largest contributions of its kind and underlines the Commission's commitment to the country. The Commission is relying on the Angolan parties, for their part, to continue working for good governance and to respect fully the Lusaka Protocol.

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:

EU expresses serious concern over political prisoners in Nigeria

Declaration of 20 October 1995

The European Union, in its General Affairs Council on 2 October, was pleased to hear that the Head of State of Nigeria, General Abacha, had announced on 1 October his decision to commute the sentences of those accused of the failed coup d'etat.

However, the EU would like to express its disappointment about the severe sentences announced for the alleged coup plotters. The EU is also concerned about the lack of transparency over the legal process during their trial. The EU deplores the continued use of secret military tribunals and the suspension of habeas corpus.

Among the guiding principles of the EU's common foreign policy are the defence of democracy and respect for human rights. The Union believes that upholding these principles in Nigeria is one of the pillars of peaceful coexistence in the country and an essential factor in the development of good relations with the European Union.

The EU notes that General Abacha has set out a three-year timetable for a transition to civilian democratic rule. The EU hopes that he will accelerate that programme, and allow a rapid resumption of political activity leading to free and fair elections. The release of all political detainees will be an essential step in that process.

The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the Union align themselves with this statement.

... appeals for clemency

Declaration of 9 November 1995

The European Union expresses its grave concern about the confirmation by the Provisional Ruling Council of the death sentences passed on Ken Saro-Wiwa and others accused of the murders of Ogoni leaders. The European Union notes the harshness of the sentences, the lack of a right of appeal, and of basic legal rights for the accused during the whole process. The European Union appeals to General Abacha to exercise his right of clemency in this case.

The European Union also regrets the lack of respect for the basic rights of the population that has led to the present situation in Ogoniland and other minority areas of Nigeria. In its last declaration published on October 20, the European Union made public its disapproval of the growing use of special tribunals and secret proceedings and the lack of guarantees for detainees and accused in Nigeria.

The European Union reminds the Nigerian Government once again that Nigeria is obliged to abide by the provisions of the international treaties on human rights to which Nigeria is a party and signatory. Respect for human rights is a basic and unavoidable principle for internal policies and international relations and is an essential criterion in determining the level of cooperation between the European Union and Nigeria, which will be subject to evaluation in the light of events.

The EFTA country members of the EEA, the Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union and the associated countries of Cyprus and Malta align themselves with this declaration.

... and condemns executions

Declaration of 10 November 1995

The Council has heard with shock the news of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his co-defendants. The Council condemns this cruel and callous act carried out in contempt of the appeal of the European Union made on 9 November and those of the whole international community. The Union will consider the immediate steps it will take in its relations with Nigeria and also asks the Commission to make appropriate proposals in particular in relation to Community development cooperation.

Satisfaction over conduct of elections in Tanzania...

Declaration of 21 December 1995

The EU would like to express its satisfaction at the holding of the first multi-party presidential and parliamentary elections in Tanzania. They constitute an important step forward to the consolidation of the democratic system in the country. The EU notes in particular that, despite difficulties in ensuring that the electorate had the opportunity to express their choice, which required-reruns in Dar Es Salaam constituencies, the final outcome of the union elections fairly reflects the will of the Tanzanian people. However, the EU remains concerned about the disputed results of the Zanzibar presidential elections and hopes that the author ities concerned will draw appropriate conclusions to ensure a transparent democratic solution. The EU appeals to all parties to sustain their commitment to avoiding any recourse to violence. Finally, the EU looks forward to working with the new Union government on the political and economic reform process and calls on all parties to work together constructively to promote further development of democracy throughout the Union.

The Prime Minister of Côte d'lvoire On a visit to Brussels on 26 and 27 November, Prime Minister Kablan Duncan had talks with Professor Joao de Deus Pinheiro, the Commissioner responsible for relations with the ACP countries and South Africa. This meeting followed a working session with the relevant services of the Development Directorate General. Mr Duncan also met Yves-Thibault de Silguy, the Commissioner reponsible for economic and financial affairs. In the course of these meetings, which were characterised by an amicable working atmosphere, the Ivorian Prime Minister spoke, in particular, of the positive development outlook now prevailing in his country. He underlined his determination to pursue a number of objectives. These included political stability (both international and regional), adjustment, and the economic and social reforms needed to encourage investment and private initiative on the 'long march' to growth. He spoke of his desire that Côte d'lvoire should receive external assistance in financing this programme, and laid particular stress on the need for his country to sustain and improve its trading position in the European markets. He expressed gratitude for the help provided by the European Community, which he described as 'discreet, but significant and effective'. For his part, Professor Pinheiro stressed that it was important for the European Community, at a time when aid was being closely scrutinised by donors, to identify reliable countries where the private sector was successfully assuming the role previously played by the state. This was the way to ensure that cooperation succeeded, he argued, and noted that it was happening in Côte d' Ivoire thanks to that country's traditions, performance and future ambitions. The Commissioner went on to emphasise the importance of the role that West Africa would have in the coming years in the development of the continent as a whole and said that Côte d'lvoire should continue to act as the motor for development in the sub-region. At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Pinheiro accepted an invitation extended by the Prime Minister, on behalf of the President, to visit Côte d'lvoire at the beginning of 1 996. He also stated that steps were being taken to involve Côte d'lvoire in the reflections currently under way concerning ACP-EU relations in the next century.

Visits

The President of Burkina Faso

Blaise Compaore' the President of Burkina Faso, had meetings in Brussels on 30 November 1995 with Commission President Jacques Santer and Professor Pinheiro. An exchange of views took place on the political situation in Burkina Faso and West Africa more generally and the opportunity was also taken to discuss the broad political and economic orientation of the EU. President Santer underlined the successful approach of the President of Burkina Faso both in respect of domestic policy (democratisation and the pursuit of economic development) and at the international level (mediation in regional conflicts and economic integration in West Africa) and confirmed that the Commission was keen to maintain an effective partnership. Discussions with Professor Pinheiro focused on the political situation of the African continent and regional integration. There was particular emphasis on facilitating the emergence of West Africa as a pole of economic development, which entails cresting the right conditions for investor confidence and strengthening the dialogue between the key political and economic actors in the region. The signature, during the President's visit, of three financing agreements involving a total of ECU 55 million, provided evidence of the deepening partnership between Burkina Faso and the EU. This sums breaks down as follows: ECU 29 million for the maintenance of a number of key roads, ECU 15 million for a geological mapping project aimed at assessing the country's mining potential and ECU 11 million for the rehabilitation of the Poura mine, which is Burkina's first commercial gold mine. Welcoming these concrete commitments, President Compaore reaffirmed the willingness of his country to take part in the joint reflections currently taking place on the future of cooperation 'taking into account the evolution of international economic relations, and in particular of the World Trade Organisation.'

The Prime Minister of Fiji

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, the Right Honourable Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka, visited Brussels from 27-30 January, where he paid a courtesy call on the Commissioner for Development, Professor Joao de Deus Pinheiro. In talks with Professor Pïnheiro, the Prime Minister underlined the great value Fiji attached to its association with the ACP Group of countries and to the cooperation relationship it enjoyed with the EU. Approaching the conclusion of the review process of the Fijian Constitution in July 1997, he said that Fiji would adopt a resolute, outward-looking attitude and foster and strengthen its cooperation both within the Pacific Region and with the ACP-EU family as a whole. Professor Pinheiro raised the issue of the future of Lomé and indicated that the particularities of the different regions could become an important issue which would have to be considered. It would be helpful, he said, if the regions could provide their own input into this debate, by indicating their specific characteristics and special concerns. Fiji, as a key player in the region, could take on an important role in initiating this process in the Pacific.

The Prime Minister of Côte d'lvoire On a visit to Brussels on 26 and 27 November, Prime Minister Kablan Duncan had talks with Professor Joao de Deus Pinheiro, the Commissioner responsible for relations with the ACP countries and South Africa. This meeting followed a working session with the relevant services of the Development Directorate General. Mr Duncan also met Yves-Thibault de Silguy, the Commissioner reponsible for economic and financial affairs. In the course of these meetings, which were characterised by an amicable working atmosphere, the Ivorian Prime Minister spoke, in particular, of the positive development outlook now prevailing in his country. He underlined his determination to pursue a number of objectives. These included political stability (both international and regional), adjustment, and the economic and social reforms needed to encourage investment and private initiative on the 'long march' to growth. He spoke of his desire that Côte d'lvoire should receive external assistance in financing this programme, and laid particular stress on the need for his country to sustain and improve its trading position in the European markets. He expressed gratitude for the help provided by the European Community, which he described as 'discreet, but significant and effective'. For his part, Professor Pinheiro stressed that it was important for the European Community, at a time when aid was being closely scrutinised by donors, to identify reliable countries where the private sector was successfully assuming the role previously played by the state. This was the way to ensure that cooperation succeeded, he argued, and noted that it was happening in Côte d' Ivoire thanks to that country's traditions, performance and future ambitions. The Commissioner went on to emphasise the importance of the role that West Africa would have in the coming years in the development of the continent as a whole and said that Côte d'lvoire should continue to act as the motor for development in the sub-region. At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Pinheiro accepted an invitation extended by the Prime Minister, on behalf of the President, to visit Côte d'lvoire at the beginning of 1 996. He also stated that steps were being taken to involve Côte d'lvoire in the reflections currently under way concerning ACP-EU relations in the next century.

The President of Burkina Faso

Blaise Compaore' the President of Burkina Faso, had meetings in Brussels on 30 November 1995 with Commission President Jacques Santer and Professor Pinheiro. An exchange of views took place on the political situation in Burkina Faso and West Africa more generally and the opportunity was also taken to discuss the broad political and economic orientation of the EU. President Santer underlined the successful approach of the President of Burkina Faso both in respect of domestic policy (democratisation and the pursuit of economic development) and at the international level (mediation in regional conflicts and economic integration in West Africa) and confirmed that the Commission was keen to maintain an effective partnership. Discussions with Professor Pinheiro focused on the political situation of the African continent and regional integration. There was particular emphasis on facilitating the emergence of West Africa as a pole of economic development, which entails cresting the right conditions for investor confidence and strengthening the dialogue between the key political and economic actors in the region. The signature, during the President's visit, of three financing agreements involving a total of ECU 55 million, provided evidence of the deepening partnership between Burkina Faso and the EU. This sums breaks down as follows: ECU 29 million for the maintenance of a number of key roads, ECU 15 million for a geological mapping project aimed at assessing the country's mining potential and ECU 11 million for the rehabilitation of the Poura mine, which is Burkina's first commercial gold mine. Welcoming these concrete commitments, President Compaore reaffirmed the willingness of his country to take part in the joint reflections currently taking place on the future of cooperation 'taking into account the evolution of international economic relations, and in particular of the World Trade Organisation.'

The Prime Minister of Fiji

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, the Right Honourable Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka, visited Brussels from 27-30 January, where he paid a courtesy call on the Commissioner for Development, Professor Joao de Deus Pinheiro. In talks with Professor Pïnheiro, the Prime Minister underlined the great value Fiji attached to its association with the ACP Group of countries and to the cooperation relationship it enjoyed with the EU. Approaching the conclusion of the review process of the Fijian Constitution in July 1997, he said that Fiji would adopt a resolute, outward-looking attitude and foster and strengthen its cooperation both within the Pacific Region and with the ACP-EU family as a whole. Professor Pinheiro raised the issue of the future of Lomé and indicated that the particularities of the different regions could become an important issue which would have to be considered. It would be helpful, he said, if the regions could provide their own input into this debate, by indicating their specific characteristics and special concerns. Fiji, as a key player in the region, could take on an important role in initiating this process in the Pacific.

The Commissioner also indicated that he would participate in the forthcoming ACP-EU Ministerial Meeting to be held in Western Samoa on 26-28 June, 1996. Prime Minister Rabuka was to continue his tour with a visit to Washington before returning home to Fiji.

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

Angola: ECU 55 million for a rehabilitation programme aimed at improving the living conditions of the people in the provinces of Benguela, Bié, Huambo and Huila. The programme is designed to increase agricultural production and food security, to improve water/energy supplies, health provision and education, and to assist in reintegrating displaced people and demobilised soldiers.

Benin: ECU 20 million for improvements to the Sémé-Porto Novo road.

Cameroon: ECU 14 million for an access route to the Tikar Plain, a key area linking the Adamaoua, North West and Western provinces.

Comoros: ECU 5.6 million to rehabilitate the Mutsamudu-Sima-Pomoni road at Anjouan. Mozambique: ECU 5.6 million for a social reintégration programme focusing on improving health and education services and supporting agriculture in Zambezia and Niassa provinces.

Mozambique: ECU 8.24 million to rehabilitate an agrarian institute (IMAT) in Tchivinguiro through the provision of resources necessary for training agricultural technicians and managers.

Namibia: ECU 1.8 million towards a sanitation project in the former 'townships' of Etoshapoort/Outjo and Usab/Karibib, with a view to improving the living and health conditions of the population.

Namibia/Zambia ECU 23 million for improvement works on the regional Trans-Caprivi Highway which links Ngoma (Zambia) with Rundu (Namibia)

Trade promotion/structural adjustment

East Africa: ECU 1.93 million to support the Regional Telematics Network Services (RTNS) in Djibouti, which will give access to global information allowing for participation in international trade and for the exchange of business information.

Kenya: ECU 4 million for a programme to develop exchange. The object is to stimulate the export sector by strengthening commercial services offered by the private sector to exporters.

Lesotho: ECU 4.1 million for the third structural adjustment support programme (1995-1996).

Mauritania: ECU 13.3 million to support the 1995-1996 structural adjustment programme.

Mozambique: ECU 15 million for a general import programme in support of structural adjustment.

Guyana: ECU 2.1 million to support the structural adjustment programme (third general import programme)

Trinidad & Tobago: ECU 4.3 million to support the structural adjustment programme (second general import programme). =

Agriculture

Cameroon: ECU 10.2 million to improve living conditions for the people of the Tikar Plain. The aid will be used to support autonomous development with a focus on three areas - intensifying production systems, improving equipment and safeguarding natural resources.

Mali: ECU 4.5 million to help improve agricultural and livestock systems. The project will involve strengthening the responsibility of the local people and promoting their economic activities.

Zimbabwe: ECU 10 million for a demining programme covering an area of almost 11.5 million square metres in the north-east of the country. The aim is to increase agricultural production and improve veterinary controls in respect of livestock.

Enterprise

Burkina Faso: ECU 15 million in Sysmin funds to assist the mining sector through the setting up of a geological mapping system.

Burkina Faso: ECU 11 million in Sysmin funds for the rehabilitation of the Poura gold mine.

Mali: ECU 3.75 million to support CISA (Crédit Initiative SA), a financial institution recently set up to provide credits for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Health

Kenya: ECU 14.8 million for a family health programme, with a particular focus on promoting and improving family planning services.

Mozambique: ECU 22 million to help in the rehabilitation of the health system in rural areas of Zambezia province.

Education

Namibia: ECU 5 million to extend the Namibia Broadasting Corporation network and provide equipment for the production of educational programmes for radio and television.

British Virgin Islands: ECU 2.4 million to support the improvement of the education and social system, through the establishment of a multi-functional educational documentation centre at the Hamilton Lavity Stoutt Community College.

Environment

Seychelles: ECU 650000 for the management of a depot capable of dealing with solid wastes and for the rehabilitation of a main road on the island of La Digue.

Institutional support

Kenya: ECU 1.4 million to help improve the implementation of national strategies, in particular through the creation of a department for managing projects in the Ministry of Planning and National Development.

Namibia: ECU 1.7 million to support the Ministry of Agriculture in the area of water resources and rural development with a view to strengthening the national development policy vis-avis cooperatives.

European investment bank

The Bank has recently decided to provide the following loans from its own resources:

Côte d'lvoire: ECU 6.95 million of which ECU 6 million is for the construction and modernisation of two cocoa factories, with ECU 950 000 being provided for the expansion of a plastics factory in Abidjan.

Côte d'lvoire/Burkina Faso: ECU 3.6 million and ECU 9.8 million respectively to establish an electricity supply interconnection.

Botswana: ECU 40 million towards the North South Carrier Water Project which is designed to provide new water supplies for the South East of the country (including Gaborone). The works will include the building of a dam at Letsibogo in the north, the laying of a 360km pipe and the construction of pumping and water treatment stations.

Burkina Faso: ECU 6 million for the development and modernisation of rural and urban telecommunications networks.

Ethiopia: ECU 21 million to modernise Addis Ababa International Airport, including the installation of security facilities, and for the development of six regional airports.

Ghana: ECU 1 million to finance credits to SMEs in the private sector.

Guinea: ECU 25 million for the Garafiri hydro-electric project. The aim is to develop the country's long-term capacity for electricity production and the project will involve the construction of an earth dam and associated works, the provision of equipment and the bringing on line of a power station with a generation capacity of 75 megawatts.

Haiti: ECU 4 million for Sofihdes (The Haiti Financial Development Company) for the promotion of investments by SMEs in the manufacturing, agroindustrial and tourism sectors.

Mauritius: ECU 28 million, of which ECU 16 million is for the renovation and extension of waste water collection and dispersal systems, while the remaining ECU 12 million is for improvements at the Port Louis container terminal.

Mozambique: ECU 3 million to a private company for the construction of a cashew nut processing factory.

Namibia: ECU 920 000 for the extension of a tannery.

Swaziland: ECU 5 million to the Swaziland Industrial Development Company for loans and investments in small and medium-sized enterprises.

Zambia: ECU 10 million for thee commercial banks.

Zimbabwe: ECU 13 million for the modernisation and restoration of hydro-electricity installations.

Bahamas: ECU 14 million for the development and restoration of water supply systems.

Guyana: ECU 7.8 million for the restoration of the water supply system

Fiji:ECU 8 million for the extension and modernisation of the national telecommunications system.

Papua New Guinea: ECU 46 million for the development of a gold mine and the construction of treatment facilities.

Aid for rehabilitation

The Commission has taken decisions to finance the following projects under the special budget line for rehabilitation in Southern Africa:

Angola: ECU 800 000 for a professional training programme for the war-wounded in Benguela province.

Angola: ECU 40000 for a social centre for young refugees in Cacuaco, Luanda

Angola: ECU 310 000 for a basic health and veterinary programme in Huila, Cunene and Namibe provinces.

Angola: ECU 848000 for a primary health care assistance programme in favour of refugees and displaced persons in the Rangel municipality of Luanda.

Angola ECU 844000 for a project to help victims of mines and handicapped people in the Benquela region.

Angola: ECU 792 000 for a project to help victims of mines and handicapped people in the Lubango region (Huila province).

Mozambique: ECU 380 000 for a rehabilitation programme and the provision of basic sanitary arrangements for refugees in the Beira region (Sofala province).

Mozambique: ECU 560 000 to provide professional training for demobilised soldiers in Zambezia province.

Mozambique: ECU 310 000 towards the rehabilitation of the Cuamba High School (Niassa province).

Namibia: ECU 832 300 for the construction of a new village for fish farming, the development of agricultural production and a literacy programme aimed particularly at former combatants.

Tanzania: ECU 720 710 for the rehabilitation of a youth development centre in Didia (Shinyanga municipality).

Zimbabwe: ECU 228 000 for the rehabilitation of a rural health centre in Buhera municipality.

Within the framework of the EPRD (European Programme for the Reconstruction and Redevelopment of South Africa), the Commission has recently decided to finance the following projects: South Africa: ECU 11 million for a land reform pilot programme (in the context of the national programme for land redistribution) to be carried out initially in 9'pilot' areas. The aim is to reduce rural poverty and tackle the injustices resulting from apartheid.

ECU 18 million for a programme to assist the Ministry of Water and Forests. The goal is to reform the institutional arrangements in the Eastern Cape - the second poorest province in the country - where water supplies are insufficient. ECU 12.6 million for a microproject programme, providing essential equipment to 180 local communities in the Eastern Cape province. ECU 11 million for an SME development programme encompassing a lending facility for micro-entrepreneurs, a credit scheme to be undertaken in collaboration with private banks and institutional capacity building with long term assistance for the formation of a wholesale financial institution. ECU 11.4 million for a programme of assistance for university libraries, covering supply of textbooks, support for library collections, automation, professional networks, training and human resource development. ECU 3.6 million towards phase 11 of the University of the North project. The aid will provide for a one year foundation programme in mathematics and science, with English and study skills, for disadvantaged students wishing to enter science-based degree programmes at the University. ECU 15 million for an assistance programme for NGOs. ECU 1.22 million to cover the administrative costs of the Kagiso Trust, one of the most important NGOs in the country.

Humanitarian aid

The Commission has recently taken the following decisions in the field of humanitarian aid (including emergency aid and food aid):

ACP countries West Africa (Benin-Mauritania-Togo): ECU 700 000 to provide essential products for some 100 000 people affected by the floods in July, August and September. Cape Verde: ECU 200 000 for an integrated anti-cholera programme covering general sanitary measures, an information campaign and a vaccination programme for the inhabitants of the island of Sao Tiago. Cape Verde: ECU 120 000 to continue the anti-cholera campaign. Côte d'lvoire: ECU 1 million to help tackle the cholera epidemic on the western frontier of the country where there are now 300 000 Liberian refugees. Ethiopia: ECU 236 000 to provide aid for a ten month period for women to look after themselves and their children. Liberia: ECU 200 000 for anti-cholera measures in the Monrovia area where 1 million people are threatened by the epidemic. Liberia: ECU 500 000 to help counter malnutrition among children in Lower Bong County. Liberia: ECU 700 000 for a yellow fever vaccination campaign in Monrovia Niger: (Tuaregs): ECU 100 000 to provide essential medicines for some 200 000 nomads in the north of the country. Sierra Leone: ECU 250 000 for a treatment centre in the capital, Freetown, in the context of the anti-cholera campaign. Somalia: ECU 2.8 million for a programme encompassing nutrition, health care and the distribution of seeds to displaced people. Sudan : ECU 11.45 million for a global aid programme covering some 4 million people. In the South of the country, affected by civil war, drought and floods, the priorities are food and medical aid, health care and food security projects. In the North, assistance will be directed towards medical and sanitary programmes that are needed in refugee camps. Haiti: ECU 5 million for medical assistance, food aid, and improvements to the drinking water supply. Netherlands Antilles, Anguilla & Montserrat: ECU 1 million for medical assistance and a reconstruction programme for the victims of Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn that struck the islands in September.

Non-ACP countries Colombia: ECU 320 000 to provide logistical support and hygiene products for the victims of floods that destroyed 35 000 dwellings and resulted in the displacement of 150 000 people.

Colombia: ECU 600 000 to provide food and sanitary aid for marginalised and impoverished people in the municipality of Apartado, an area suffering from drug-related violence.

Peru: ECU 220 000 for the fight against malaria in Loreto province and against cholera in the province of Coronel Portillo

Peru: ECU 220 000 for emergency shelters and health provision for displaced people who are returning following ten years of violence in the country.

El Salvador: ECU 750 000 to provide shelters, food and medical aid for people in the south-east of the country affected by the flooding of the Lempa River.

Mexico: ECU 430 000 for medical and sanitary aid to vulnerable sections of the population in Chiapas state.

Mexico: ECU 360 000 for food and sanitary aid to people affected by the earthquakes and hurricanes which struck Mexico in September/October.

Albania: ECU 1 million for emergency logistical support (heating in schools), food aid and medical assistance, directed in particular towards psychiatric and other hospital facilities in Elbasan and Tirana.

Romania: ECU 500 000 to provide food and medical aid for hospitals and health institutions housing orphans and elderly people.

Armenia-Azerbaqan-Georgia-Nagorny Karabakh: ECU 22.32 million for a range of coordinated programmes designed to cover the health, sanitary and food requirements of the populations concerned over the winter period.

Arrnenia-Azarbaijan-Georgia: ECU 17.4 million for refugees, displaced people and vuinerable sections of the population. The assistance will cover a range of aspects including food aid, health care, medicines, fuel, prefabricated housing and the restoration of water distribution systems.

Belarus-Russia-Ukraine: ECU 2 million for a screening and surveillance programme for people who have been exposed to the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disester. Kirgizistan/Tajikistan: ECU 2.8 million for the most vulnerable victims of the civil war taking place in these two countries. The aid will take the form of food supplies, medicines and housing reconstruction. Kirgizistan: ECU 1.8 million for emergency food aid in favour of victims of the recession affecting this country. Russia: ECU 1.3 million to help the homeless and tuberculosis sufferers in Moscow and St Petersburg, and for a vaccination campaign against tuberculosis in Voronej. Russia (Chechnya): ECU 6 million to provide food supplies, medicines and water to victims of the conflict. Russia (Siberia): ECU 300 000 to provide medicines and treat the growing number of tuberculosis victims. Tajikistan: ECU 3 million to provide emergency food aid for victims of the serious recession affecting this country. Algeria: ECU 2.5 million in emergency food aid. Algeria: ECU 1 million in additional emergency food aid for some 150 000 people whose survival depends almost entirely on international assistance. West Bank-Gaza (Palestinians): ECU 3 million to provide medical aid for a six-month period in the form of medicine supplies for hospital laboratories and health centres, together with a training and vaccination campaign. Gaza: ECU 350 000 for hospitals specialising in the treatment of handicapped people.

Iraq: ECU 12.1 million for a programme designed to provide for the essential needs of victims of the war. The priorities are food aid, the rehabilitation of water supplies and schools, health care, agriculture and the return of displaced people. Iraq ECU 1.12 million for emergency food aid in favour of children suffering from malnutrition in the centre and south of the country. Iraq:: ECU 6 million for a global plan aimed at encouraging displaced people to return to their villages. The priorities under the plan will be demining, the provision of food aid to the Atrush camp which currently holds 14 000 refugees, primary health care, and the restoration of essential services.

Lebanon (Palestinians): ECU 450 000 in medical aid.

Lebanon (Palestinians): ECU 100 000 to provide medical aid for the camps in Tripoli, Sidon and Tyre, with a particular focus on pre- and post-natal care and the treatment of chronic illnesses.

Yemen: ECU 200 000 for a vaccination programme (in particular, against measles) for 70 000 children under the age of two.

Afghanistan: ECU 4.7 million to rehabilitate essential services in the capital, Kabul, which is seeking to reintegrate between 250 000 and 300 000 displaced people.

Afghanistan: ECU 950 000 to provide food aid and basic materials for the most vulnerable sections of the population in the capital.

Bangladesh: ECU 700 000 for food aid, medical assistance and essential products to help flood victims. 7.6 million people have been affected by the recent flooding.

Cambodia: ECU 500 000 for emergency food aid and a housing programme for flood victims in the northwestern provinces of the country.

Cambodia: ECU 1.8 million for the removal of land mines in agricultural areas of the Phnom Voart region.

North Korea: ECU 290 000 for a logistical and medical programme in favour of flood victims.

India: ECU 19.5 million for a project to tackle poverty in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The project is aimed at improving the lot of lower 'castes' by encouraging remunerative activities, strengthening the role of women and establishing a health programme.

Indonesia: ECU 100 000 to provide essential equipment for earthquake victims in the province of Jambi on the island of Sumatra.

Laos: ECU 800 000 in emergency aid for flood victims, in particular in the provinces of Vientiane, Khammouane and Borikhamsay.

Laos: ECU 380 000 in emergency food aid for people in the province of Vientiane whose harvests have been destroyed by typhoons.

Pakistan: ECU 200 000 for the distribution of essential equipment to flood victims in Punjab and Sind provinces.

Philippines: ECU 1 million in emergency aid for typhoon victims.

Philippines: ECU 1 million in additional aid for typhoon victims, notably in the form of sanitary works with a view to combating the epidemics that have broken out.

Sri Lanka: ECU 1 million in medical and logistical aid for between 300 000 and 400 000 people who have fled to the east of the country to escape the fighting.

Sri Lanka: ECU 1.5 million to provide food aid and basic products to people displaced as a result of the conflict between Government forces and Tamil rebels.

Thailand (refugees): ECU 800 000 for food and medical aid for the Karen peoples who have fled from Myanmar.

Food aid


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