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Early Response Mechanism


The ERM component of the APF supports the African Union (AU) and African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in preventing crises across Africa. In urgent situations, it endows them with a source of immediately available funds that can be directed to the first stages of mediation activities, fact-finding missions and ad-hoc reinforcement of the planning cells of Peace Support Operations (PSO).

Between 2009 and 2018, almost 40 ERM interventions have taken place in Africa to the tune of EUR 30 million.

Main objectives

  • Increase the AU and RECs/RMs role on mediation/preventive diplomacy;
  • Improve the AUC and RECs decision-making capacity through improved planning documents;
  • Improve the strategic level planning process of peace operations ;
  • Increase capacity of African partners to set up the conflict prevention operations in rapidly.


Aimed at implementing an accelerated and more flexible procedure in the field of conflict prevention and management, ERM guidelines include:

  • A stronger focus on the unforeseeable, urgent early stages of conflict/crisis that could involve a procces of mediation/political negotiations, shuttle diplomacy, support for the deployment of skilled security/human rights observers , fact-finding missions for the establishment of a PSO;
  • Understanding that the duration of actions will depend on the nature of the activity;
  • A maximum of 12 months for urgent mediation and political negotiations 
  • Six months for urgent unforeseeable actions which could be extended to nine months;
  • An ERM approval process taking up to 10 working days.


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