The African Union has only managed to collect $89 million for their peace fund last year contributed by 49 member states, a shortfall in the amount needed, according to the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The AU peace fund finances the AU’s peace and security operations following decisions adopted by the assembly heads of states in July 2016.
According to the plan, the AU was supposed to collect $325 million as a peace fund in 2017, rising to a total of $400m by 2021 from the 0.2% levy. The endowment represents the maximum amount that was needed for their peace operations.
Opening the session of the African Union on Thursday February 7th, Mahamat warned that failing to finance the union’s peace and security operations is tantamount to leaving the issue of peace and security in the hands of others.
Speaking at the opening session, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe, said that Africa has the world’s second highest burden of displaced people, hosting 14.7 million internally displaced peoples and 7.3 million refugees.
She said in the first six months of 2018, two million people were displaced, mainly from five countries, namely Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.
However, latest estimates for growth show that Africa grew at 3.2% in 2018. The prediction for growth in 2019 remains at below 4%. “These levels fall far short of what is needed to deliver an emerging Africa,” said Songwe.
The latest session of the AU is currently underway in Addis Ababa under the title of “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons; towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa.”