ADDIS ABABA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) on Friday signed a 42-million-euro (close to 51.8 million U.S. dollars) agreement to fund the East African block's peace and security programs in the Horn of Africa region.
IGAD Executive Secretary, Mahboub Maalim, said while signing the agreement in Addis Ababa that the "support will be critical in building the capacity of IGAD's core peace and security programs in preventive diplomacy, trans-national security, counter-terrorism and mediation."
Maalim noted that the support would enable the East African block to better handle the complex peace and security challenges faced in the Horn of Africa region.
Head of the EU delegation to the African Union (AU), Ranieri Sabatucci, also said that "IGAD and its members will be better equipped to engage in mediation and deploy mediators at short notice, allowing peace building processes to kick off at earliest possible opportunity."
The action, which covers a four-year implementation period from 2018 to 2022, is also expected to help IGAD and its partner countries in the region to improve the collection and distribution of early warning data in a bid to prevent conflicts.