Maputo — The European Union on Wednesday announced an aid package of 50 million euros (about 59 million US dollars) for development projects and humanitarian aid in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Maputo, the EU ambassador, Antonio Sanchez-Benedito Gaspar, said that 25 million dollars will be channelled as assistance to the people displaced from their homes by terrorist attacks in the province.
"We want Cabo Delgado, because of its size, its challenges, and its enormous potential, to be on our list of priorities", he said. "So we have announced a package of 50 million euros for the development of that region".
Gaspar recognised that inside the EU there is great concern at the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado, and he strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in the province.
He added that the EU, in partnership with the African Development Bank (ADB), is working on a plan to develop infrastructures in the province, including the creation of long term poles of development.
Gaspar said the EU was one of the first donors to respond to an emergency appeal from the United Nations, after the terrorist offensive began, and provided a contribution of about 35 million euros.
For the government, Agriculture Minister Celso Correia said the European Union is a strategic partner for Mozambique's development.
He recognised that households in Cabo Delgado urgently need the resumption of normality in their lives. Hence the government is committed to restoring security in the province, and to ensuring that northern Mozambique is seen as an ideal place for investment.
"We have to normalise the lives of the families who have remained in various parts of Cabo Delgado", said Correia. "Despite the pressure of insecurity, many families are continuing to produce, and are also looking for opportunities. We have to look at this dimension, because it's the government's priority that households should return to normality as quickly as possible".