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Early Response Mechanism


The APF’s Early Response Mechanism (ERM) provides the African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities / Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) with immediately available funds to prevent and manage violent conflict or use windows of opportunity for peacebuilding. By addressing urgent and unforeseen financial needs in such situations, the ERM enables the AU and RECs/RMs to react in a timely manner to evolving crises and violent conflict.

The ERM is a quick-reaction funding mechanism. The EU is therefore committed  to approve or reject requests for ERM support received from African partners within just 10 working days.

In line with its nature, the ERM funds activities of a temporary nature. The maximum duration of mediation, political negotiation and preventive diplomacy initiatives is 24 months, while all other initiatives addressing urgent and unforeseen needs in crisis situations can be approved for a maximum of 12 months.

Between 2009 and 2020, 40 ERM initiatives were implemented across the African continent. The combined total of their approved budgets amounts to over EUR 26 million.


Examples of past ERM initiatives

  • Mediation and political negotiation processes
  • Deployment of security and human rights observers
  • Prevention of violence related to electoral processes
  • Stakeholder consultations to inform governance reform processes
  • Fact-finding missions in preparation of Peace Support Operations (PSOs)
  • Short-term support to PSOs, some of which was subsequently continued under the PSO component of the APF
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