BRUSSELS, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- In announcing a $17.2 million support package, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said African development can't happen without security.
Piebalgs announced Friday the European Union would provide funding through an African mission, the African Peace Facility, meant to improve management of African-led peace support operations.
"Our new support will help our African partners to set up the necessary communication and management systems to rapidly deploy and manage African-led peace support operations wherever they are needed," he said in a statement.
The facility was set up in 2004 to support peacekeeping missions coordinated by the African Union in places like Somalia and Mali.
The U.N. Security Council recently passed a resolution to support a French military effort to help AU forces bring stability to the Central African Republic.
"There can be no development without security and the African Peace Facility's work is fundamental in laying the foundations for sustainable development across the continent," Piebalgs said.
Piebalgs said costs tied to military equipment for AU operations are not covered in the funding measure.
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers sent a letter Thursday to Gene Dodaro, director of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, calling for a study into the effectiveness of an African growth fund up for review in 2015.