$581 million pledged for UN peace fund, far short of goal

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Over three dozen nations have pledged or contributed over US$439 million (S$581.69 million) to help secure peace in conflict-stricken states, the United Nations said Tuesday (Jan 26), a sum that falls far short of the hoped-for US$1.5 billion.

Member states met via videoconference, committing to “the importance of investing in peace,” according to a UN statement.

“Including funds received for 2020, 39 Member States have contributed or pledged over US$439 million for peacebuilding in support of the Fund’s 2020-2024 Strategy,” the statement said.

“The goal is to mobilise US$1.5 billion over five years between 2020 and 2024,” said Mr Marc-Andre Franche, the head of the Financing for the Peacebuilding Fund, which was created in 2006.

The fund has financed operations in 51 countries – including in the Sahel, Central Asia, Central America and the Balkans – over the last three years for a total of US$356 million.

In that cycle, 34 countries contributed money, but 60 per cent of the total came from just Germany, Sweden and Britain, according to Mr Franche.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that his country is looking toward contributing at least 50 million euros (S$80.55 million) in the next two years.

French Ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Riviere said his nation would quadruple their contribution to reach US$4.5 million.

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