24 April 2024

King Philippe visits Enabel

Press release

king of belgium and enabel colleagues

Brussels, 24 April 2024 – King Philippe paid an official visit to the Belgian agency for international cooperation Enabel at Rue Haute in Brussels.

The visit coincides with the annual meeting of Enabel’s country directors, who meet for a week in Brussels and set directions for the year ahead. The King took the opportunity to take a deeper look at current challenges with the country directors and how they influence Enabel’s activities.

Managing director Jean Van Wetter is particularly pleased with the royal visit. ”It is quite an honour to welcome the King to our offices. His visit is a recognition of the work of our teams in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, often in difficult circumstances, and also of the important role Enabel takes up in the geopolitical context at Belgian, European and international level. We are very grateful to the King for that.”

Various topics were covered during the visit. The geopolitical context in which Enabel operates is complex and constantly evolving: the ever-accelerating climate crisis, the coups in West Africa, the war in Ukraine, the conflict in Gaza, the unrest in eastern Congo and the pervasive migration crisis.

The King also met some of Enabel’s Palestinian staff members who were able to leave Gaza and are now in safety in Belgium. Some Enabel employees are still trapped in Gaza to this day.

The King also participated in a roundtable on the new cooperation programme with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Enabel’s country director for Congo and other experts explained Belgian-Congolese cooperation, which focuses on youth, education and entrepreneurship, social protection, agriculture and good governance. The Congo programme will have a direct impact on more than 3.5 million Congolese.

Finally, the launch of activities in Ukraine was also covered. The Belgian government tasked Enabel with launching a reconstruction support programme in Ukraine in 2023, with a particular focus on health care, education and energy.

“It is meaningful that the King pays attention to our international cooperation work,” says Van Wetter. “This cooperation should be considered an investment in our common future, not as a charitable obligation,” he concludes.

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