Brussels, 26 February 2009
The European Commission, together with the United Nations, is hosting a two-day high level meeting in Brussels from today which aims to boost support for the peace process in Somalia.
The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, said: “The meeting will provide the international community with the possibility to help the new Somali government to bring stability to the country at this very crucial time. I believe that, with our support, the new leadership can bring about the peace that the Somali people so desperately need.”
Following a UN request, the European Commission is organising a meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG) on Somalia, two months after the last ICG held in New York. This ICG meeting will gather the whole development's community (representatives of the European Union and its Member States, together with other partners of Somalia, including Norway, Canada and the United States, the UN, the African Union, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the League of Arab States and the World Bank)
Following the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops and the nomination of a new Government of national unity in Somalia, this meeting aims to:
The European Commission is strongly committed to financially and politically supporting the Somali peace process. It believes that the new Government, through its inclusiveness, offers the best hope for ending the suffering of the Somali people and for restoring the rule of law in the country.
The meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG) on Somalia was called by Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia.
The ICG gathers the main donors and stakeholders in the country and aims to contribute to peace and reconciliation in Somalia.
The European Commission (EC) is currently supporting around 100 projects with a financial contribution of EUR 150 million (EDF and EC general budget).
Projects are mainly in three sectors:
Governance and security, including support to institutional building, reconciliation, rule of law, respect of human rights and support to Somali Non State Actors
Social Sectors, comprising access to primary and secondary education, adult literacy, teacher training and vocational and technical training; support for the development of a public health system, support to major hospitals and maternal health care and improved access to safe water in urban and rural areas.
Rural Development and Food Security: support to the agriculture and livestock sectors, food security programmes and early warning systems.
The EC is also funding the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) mission in Mogadishu: EUR 15 million from the Africa Peace Facility and an allocation of almost EUR 5 million from the Stability Instrument. In December 2008, at the request of the AU, an additional 20 million euros were approved from the Peace Facility to continue the support to the AMISOM's mission.
Since 2005 funding for Somalia from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) has totalled € 87 million, including EUR 40 million in 2008. ECHO focus has been in support of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, livestock, food security, in particular to the Internally Displaced. ECHO is also providing assistance to the Somali refugees in Kenya. Partners' access and monitoring of the programmes remain the main challenges for delivering the EC humanitarian assistance to the Somali population.