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In response the press release by the African Union Commission on its support to countries of the Lake Tchad Basin Commission, the EU wants to underline it stands with the people and authorities in the countries affected by Boko Haram's violence in our common fight against terrorism, for which it mobilised more than EUR 100 million. The EU recognizes the relentless efforts that the Troop Contributing Countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission's Multi-National Joint Task Force against Boko Haram (MNJTF) are undertaking, and commends the MNJTF achievements in restoring a secure and safe environment in the Lake Chad Basin.
The EU is acutely conscious of the importance to support MNJTF in its efforts to complete its mission. On 1 August 2016, the EU signed a delegation agreement with the African Union Commission (AUC) for an amount of 50 million Euros. The AUC committed to provide MNJTF with the necessary assets (infrastructure, communication, transportation) enabling the Force to strengthen its command and control capabilities. On 8 August 2016, the European Commission proceeded with the first payment of EUR 31.67 million to the AUC account.
In testimony to the EU – AU partnership, the agreement delegates the AUC the power and responsibility to implement the action and manage the funds provided by the EU. The AUC is thus responsible for the procurement and delivery of the agreed equipment and services to MNJTF in accordance to its own procedures and within the timeline agreed with the EU. The EU applies the customary controls that are agreed with the AUC and apply to all operations, actions and programmes that AUC manages.
The delays in the procurement process are not in any way attributable to the EU, since the AUC applies its own procedures to manage procurement. The EU has at every stage exerted its controls quickly and within the agreed deadlines. The AUC did however face capacity constraints, which did not allow it to carry out the procurement within the contractual timeline. The AUC acknowledged these constraints in a letter to the EU of 30 January 2017. In order to remedy to this situation, the AUC requested in that letter that the EU authorized the recruitment of a specialized Procurement Agent. The EU agreed with this proposal on 3 February 2017 and is currently looking forward for the AUC to finalize this recruitment which should facilitate and speed-up the procurement process of the equipment and services urgently needed.
Since its creation in 2003, the EU's African Peace Facility has allocated more than 2.7 billion Euros in support of African-led efforts to maintain Peace and Security in the continent.
Moreover, since the eruption of the Lake Chad crisis, the EU has been providing a significant response, by using humanitarian and development instruments at its disposal – including the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa – in a coherent, coordinated and integrated fashion. The EU support to the Lake Chad region is currently worth around EUR 700 million (not including Member States bilateral projects), covering agriculture and food security, economic opportunities and job creation, security and anti-terrorism, as well as basic social services, governance and infrastructure. With this support, the EU aims at strengthening the resilience of conflict affected people, while at the same time supporting governments in maintaining a State presence in the area.