Sommaire: September 28, 2004: Poul Nielson and Chris Patten met UN Special Representative for Darfur Jan Pronk (Brussels)
European Commissioners for Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid Poul Nielson and for External Relations Chris Patten met Mr. Jan Pronk, United Nations' Secretary General's Special Representative for Darfur.
During their meetings they reviewed the humanitarian situation in Darfur. Commissioner Nielson expressed his deep concern. In spite of recent improvements in the access of humanitarian aid agencies many people were still without access to emergency humanitarian aid.
The Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) had already allocated €92 million in humanitarian aid - making it the largest cash donor. Mr. Nielson assured that the Commission was prepared to do more as access to the victims of the humanitarian crisis was improving. Commissioners Nielson and Patten expressed their strong support to UN efforts to resolve the crisis, including the establishment of a Commission of inquiry. They also recalled their full support to the African Union mission currently deployed in Darfur. They welcomed its planned expansion and praised the constructive and proactive role assumed by the African Union in search for a sustainable and peaceful solution to the conflict. African ownership of these efforts is crucial and should not be undermined.
The EU was already funding 60 pct. (€12 million) of the costs of the African Union mission in Darfur. The Commission would be favourable towards providing additional funding for an extended mission. In line with the principle of African ownership any further EU support should be given within the context of a request from the African Union.
Total EU aid in response to the Darfur conflict is €285 million.