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European Commission - Press release

Helping Somalia recover and develop: European Commission to invest extra €175 million in governance, education and food security

Brussels, 05 August 2011 - Today Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development announced the decision to step up Europe's long-term commitment to Somalia with an extra €175 million in development assistance. The funds will flow into Somaliland, Puntland and other regions where viable security conditions and minimum levels of governance have already been established, as well as in Central Somalia, where stability is improving and the conditions allow for development assistance to make a difference.

Commissioner Piebalgs, who travelled to Somaliland less than a month ago, reiterated his conviction that development assistance can provide sustainable solutions because it tackles the root causes of protracted crisis. The Commissioner said: "Somalia is going through a severe humanitarian crisis. Drought is the immediate reason for this, but the root causes lie in the deeper structural problems of this fragile state. With this new funding we will contribute to strengthening institutions and will invest in better infrastructure, food security and education. We trust that our long-lasting commitment will help Somalia move toward inclusive and sustainable economic development and stability. Its long-suffering people deserve no less."

Today's aid package adds up to the ongoing five-year support envelope for Somalia of €212 million (between 2008 and 2013); bringing to €387 million the total allocation for the country under 10th European Development Fund.

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Background information

EU development aid in Somalia is mainly focused on the following areas:

  • Economic development/food security including infrastructure: The EU funds projects in agriculture, livestock, private sector development and economic infrastructure. The additional support will reinforce these projects, as well as provide support in infrastructure to improve water and energy supply, waste management, and health services for selected municipalities.

  • Education: Somalia still ranks amongst the countries with the lowest education participation levels in the world. With the additional funds the EU will further improve literacy rates by expanding coverage of basic education services to new geographical areas and address education needs of the rural population and disadvantaged groups. Through focused investments in vocational training, the EU will continue to address critical needs in key areas such as business, entrepreneurship, fisheries and livestock. Targeted support to higher education institutions helps addressing critical needs in human resource development in this fragile environment.

  • Governance: The EU is already the main donor in major programmes assisting the public sector, police, courts, democratic institutions, electoral processes and civil society in Somalia. Investments in this sector will continue to focus on strengthening effective governance at national, regional and local levels; law enforcement, security and the rule of law; reconciliation and the constitutional process, including a strong focus on public consultation and outreach; and electoral processes in Somaliland, Puntland and possibly at federal level.

Humanitarian aid to Somalia

The European Union is also a major donor of humanitarian aid to the millions of Somalis affected by violence and famine in their country and in the region (Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti).

In 2010 the European Commission allocated €35 million in humanitarian aid to Somalia. In 2011 €30 million have so far been allocated with further €28 million in the pipeline. These funds support interventions in the areas of food security, health, nutrition, shelter, water sanitation, hygiene promotion, livelihoods support, protection and coordination of aid.

The increase in humanitarian funding for Somalia is part of a wider package to address the severe crisis caused by the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. An amount of €97.47 million has been allocated so far to the Horn of Africa countries in 2011. The Commission has started the process to mobilise rapidly another €60 millions to alleviate the suffering of so many people. This will bring the total response to nearly €158 million.

For more information


IP/11/837 on Commissioner Piebalgs visit to Somaliland

ECHO fact sheet

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

Contacts :

Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)

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