The European Union has unblocked 50 million euros ($68 million) to support the foreign military operation in the Central African Republic, EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said Friday after France launched an intervention.
The money comes on top of 245 million euros in development and humanitarian aid already provided by the EU to help the African state, which has plunged into chaos and bloodshed since the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted the president in a coup in March.
"I salute France for its initiative and courage," Barroso told AFP in Paris just hours ahead of the opening of a major France-Africa summit due to focus on security in the continent and on CAR.
"France is taking on a big responsibility which we must all support, as Europeans.
"We have unblocked an extra 50 million euros to... support this African mission."
The UN Security Council gave a green light on Thursday for French and African troops to be deployed in the Central African Republic to try to restore order.
Shortly after the go-ahead, French President Francois Hollande ordered an additional 600 troops to the country, doubling the force it already had in and around the capital Bangui, which was the scene of a sectarian bloodbath early Thursday that left more than 120 people dead.