Sudan, Somalia would be a priority
The African Union Peace Fund is preparing to deploy its funds for the first time in 2023, financing interventions in Sudan, the East African Community and the AU Mission in Somalia, AU officials say.
The Peace Fund’s Board of Trustees is edging closer to approve USD five million from the Crisis Reserve Facility to support projects aimed at “restoring a degree of stability and peace” for affected populations in Sudan and Somalia, according to members.
The Board of Trustees comprises of Zainab Ahmed from Nigeria, Tito Mboweni from South Africa, Anicet Dologuele from Central Africa Republic, Elene Makonnen from Ethiopia, Birgitte Markussen from the European Union (EU), and Parfait Onanga-Anyanga from the United Nations (UN).
The funds will go toward the startup costs of new operations until they are incorporated into the regular budget. In a bid to increase crisis response capacity, the Board recommended doubling the Crisis Reserve Facility to USD 10 million for the 2023–24 fiscal year.
The recommendation followed an AU Peace and Security Council decision in May to raise the ceiling to enable the AU to address emergency security challenges on the continent. The Peace Fund prioritizes mediation and preventive diplomacy, institutional capacity building and peace support operations. The Facility addresses urgent security interventions.
Director of the Peace Fund Secretariat, Dagmawit Moges, former Minister of Transport and Logistics said that Sudan meets the eligibility criteria for crisis funding as an “emergency situation beyond the capacity of the country.”
The African Union Peace Fund, established in 1993 as the primary source of financing for the AU’s peace and security efforts, has recently gained significant traction. The Fund, which is one of the five pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), was officially launched on November 17, 2018, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The Fund sources contributions from AU member states, international organizations, non-AU states and public or private donors. Its operations are administered according to rules approved by the Board of Trustees, which ensures strategic and financial oversight.
In July 2016, AU Heads of State and Government decided to provide the Peace Fund with contributions totaling USD 400 million from member states, collected through a levy of 0.2 percent on the overall AU budget.
Since 2017, the Peace Fund has seen a significant increase in funding, with member states contributing over USD 55.9 million, the largest amount since the Fund’s establishment in 1993.