The short answer is that previous to the European Peace Facility the EU (as a whole, rather than individual countries) couldn't provide large scale military support to its partners outside Africa because of accounting.
While there are a number of mechanisms for the EU to raise funds, the original treaties didn't provide a way for the core EU budget to be spent on guns for third parties. This was originally worked around for Africa only by the creation of the African Peace Facility, with a budget of €740 million, which created a fund outside the core budget to finance security operations in Africa (not without criticism). The EPF creates a similar fund which isn't geographically restricted and has a larger budget.
Edit: To address the question of risk, this is is essentially the same brand of problem as handing a distant friend weapon "to protect themselves". They might chose to use the weapon to attack someone, or the weapon might be stolen and used to attack them, and all the usual arguments that come in to gun control. For the people worried about the fund, adding more guns to volatile areas isn't the way to increase security.