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Peacebuilding Commission to request funds to support Guinea-Bissau’s recovery

Peacebuilding Commission to request funds to support Guinea-Bissau’s recovery

The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission says it will ask Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to declare Guinea-Bissau eligible for an initial grant from the UN fund set up to help countries emerging from conflict slide back into chaos.

Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil, chair of the Commission’s Guinea-Bissau configuration, told a meeting yesterday at UN Headquarters in New York that the impoverished West African nation needs the grant to help it recover from lingering political instability and daunting socio-economic challenges.

The Ambassador’s remarks followed a presentation by Guinea-Bissau’s Prime Minister Martinho N’Dafa Cabi, who told the Commission that while the Government was attempting to consolidate recent gains, it needs assistance to make improvements in areas such as security, elections, fiscal management, fighting drug trafficking and reducing youth unemployment.

Guinea-Bissau became the third country to fall under the Commission’s purview late last year, joining Sierra Leone and Burundi as countries that will receive advice and support from a body established in 2006 to try to prevent post-conflict nations from sliding backwards.

Shola Omoregie, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau, welcomed the recent efforts of the Government and said they now need to be reinforced.

“The [Peacebuilding Commission’s] engagement with Guinea-Bissau will be an added impetus for making irreversible the transition from post-conflict reconstruction to peace consolidation, and thereby yielding concrete dividends in political stability and socio-economic development,” Mr. Omoregie said.

The envoy stressed the need for Guinea-Bissau to work closely with the international community to ensure that projects are effectively implemented and monitored and funds for those projects are disbursed quickly.