The European Council has adopted assistance measures to bolster the defense capabilities of five partner nations: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Lebanon, Mauritania, and Rwanda.
The military support package of 68 million euros ($71.8 million) aims to enhance peace operations and secure international stability.
The assistance was finalized through the European Union’s off-budget European Peace Facility (EPF) fund.
“The EPF continues to show its flexibility and effectiveness in responding to our partners’ needs,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
Established in March 2021, the fund aims to finance defense and military operations under the council’s common foreign and security policy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia will receive 10 million euros ($10.5 million) to upgrade its armed forces’ tactical support brigade equipment.
The EPF expects the funding to enable the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina to contribute more to the EU military’s common security and defense policy (CSDP) operations.
“It will further allow the swift and sustainable deployment of the NATO designated battalion, whether as part of an EU CSDP mission or operation or under formats such as the United Nations, NATO, the OSCE, and ultimately contribute to the protection of the civilian population,” the EPF said.
The Georgian Defense Forces will receive 20 million euros ($21.1 million) to enhance military medical, logistics, engineering, and cyber-defense services.
The aid package supports the 12.75-million-euro assistance measure ($13.5 million) adopted by the council in December last year, providing the Georgian military with necessary capabilities for emergencies.
“The latest assistance measure is further proof of the EU’s commitment to strengthen the capacities of Georgia with the aim of enhancing its national security, stability and resilience,” the EFP said.
Lebanon will receive six million euros ($6.3 million) in military assistance to strengthen the Lebanese Armed Forces’ medical capabilities and resilience.
The service will also be provided with individual operational equipment.
In October, the EU increased its financial assistance to Lebanon by 75 million euros ($79 million) amid the country’s “difficult social and economic situations” due to two Beirut explosions in 2020 and its continued hosting of Syrian refugees.
“We will increase the amount of our assistance for Lebanon to establish good governance and strengthen state institutions and the various parties involved in this process,” EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said.
The EFP has allocated 20 million euros ($21.1 million) to the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, allowing its troops to “better respond to security threats.”
The package aims to support two battalions, enhancing their in situ medical capabilities on the border with Mali, Western Sahara, and Algeria.
The EU pledged 20 million euros ($21.1 million) to the Rwanda Defence Force, supporting the continued deployment of around 2,500 troops on a peacekeeping mission in Mozambique.
The Rwandan Army is expected to acquire collective and personal equipment and finance “the strategic airlift to sustain the [troops’] deployment in Cabo Delgado province.”
The province, part of Mozambique’s gas-rich northeastern region, has been facing an armed insurgency by Islamic State-linked terrorists since 2017.
In July 2021, the Rwandan government sent a thousand troops to Mozambique.
According to the EU, the new assistance is the latest donation to insurgency-hit Mozambique after the 89 million euros ($93 million) provided to the Mozambican Armed Forces and another 15 million euros ($15.8 million) for the Southern African Development Community mission.