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European Commission - Fact Sheet

EU Support for Somalia

Brussels, 17 July 2018

Political relations

The EU, together with Somali authorities and international key partners, is engaged in Somalia through an integrated approach based on active diplomacy, support for political change, improving security, development assistance and humanitarian aid.

  • For the period 2015-2020, the cooperation of the EU and the Member States amounts to more than €3.5 billion, and includes development aid, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping operations.

In line with the New Deal principles for fragile states and the Somali Compact (2013-2016) endorsed at the 2013 EU-Somalia summit in Brussels and guiding the relationship between Somalia and the international community, Somalia undertook several reform efforts.

With the end of the Somali Compact and with the newly elected President Farmajo and a new Somali government in place, the London Somalia Conference in May 2017, set the new framework for relations between Somalia and the international community. The meeting agreed on the Security Pact – based on the Somali agreed National Security Architecture and setting out the vision of Somali-led security institutions and forces and international support, and endorsed the New Partnership for Somalia, in support of the National Development Plan - the first in 30 years.

Peace and security

The EU plays a significant role in supporting Somalia's efforts to become a peaceful, stable and democratic country and to take progressive ownership over its own national security.

Through the three EU security and defence missions, the EU is contributing to capacity building within the Somali Security Sector:

  • The Military Training Mission (EUTM), which directly supports the build-up of the Somali National Army through training, advising and mentoring activities
  • EU Operation ATALANTA has made a significant contribution to deterring/repressing acts of piracy through continuous at sea presence and contributing to prevent other international crimes through information exchange with partners. It lead to a reduction in piracy: in 2011, 174 merchant vessels were attacked and 25 ships pirated with 736 seafarers held hostage. In 2013, 7 ships were attacked, none pirated. In 2014 two ships were attacked. There were no attacks in 2015 and one in 2016. In March 2017 a ship was pirated and held for 4 days.
  • EUCAP Somalia, which aims to improve Somalia's maritime security capacities.

The EU is committed to remaining an important partner of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and supports its current reconfiguration to align with the Somali Transition Plan. The EU is one of AMISOM's main financial contributors, having committed more than €1.73 billion for AMISOM over the period March 2007 to December 2018.

Over the past ten years, AMISOM enabled Somalia's considerable peacebuilding and state-building progress and it will continue to play an important role throughout the transition process which should lead to the gradual hand-over of security responsibilities to the Somali security institutions, as laid down in the Transition Plan.

Development cooperation

The EU is one of Somalia's key development partners, providing comprehensive support to the country in different areas such as stabilisation, state building, security, basic services and job creation.

The EU is currently increasing its security support to the country, reorienting it to more direct support to the Somali institutions.

The EU is providing additional funding of some €200 million aiming at fostering stability in the country: this includes budget support of €100 million to promote local reconciliation and peacebuilding as well as the creation of economic opportunities, €83 million to create small and medium sized enterprises with a special focus on women and youth, to revitalize the livestock and fisheries sectors.Additional support includes the EU Flight operations into Somalia (€6.5 million) and €14 million in capacity building and local stabilisation to support also the Transition Plan.A total of €286 million has also been provided for the period 2014-2020 to provide a comprehensive approach to the country's needs. This includes €100 million covering state-and peace-building, €86 million for food security and resilience targeting around 55,000 people, €60 million to support the Somalia education sector and vocational training system, €26 million for support measures and €14 million to support civil society as key players in the democratization process.

To help Somalia expand its trade the EU's National Indicative Programme is being deployed to improve productivity in the agricultural, livestock and fisheries sector. Programme interventions also seek to support growth by nurturing Somalia's private sector and business environment.

Humanitarian aid

The EU has supported humanitarian aid operations in Somalia since 1994. The assistance is essential as the country has been struggling with internal conflict and natural disasters for decades.

In 2017, the EU, together with other donors, provided flexible and early funding enabling to successfully avert the famine looming in Somalia. The EU indeed mobilised considerable funding for the drought response, totalling €119 million for that year. These funds allowed partners to provide life-saving aid to persons in the regions hardest hit by the water and food shortages, as well as disease outbreaks. The EU prioritised the delivery of cash assistance to respond to most vulnerable people's basic needs, proving to be an effective and dignified way of giving assistance. Together, the European Union and its Member States currently provide approximately 60% of all humanitarian aid in Somalia.

Economic relations

The EU is committed to helping Somalia develop a strong, sustainable economy which can support the country's state and peace-building processes. Relations in this area are guided by the Somali Compact, New Deal process and the National Indicative Programme. Objectives, priorities and actions are also closely linked to the Somali government's Economic Recovery Plan.

EU engagement therefore aims to revitalise and expand the Somali economy with a focus on improving livelihoods, generating employment, and encouraging inclusive growth. Special attention will be paid to improving economic opportunities for women and young people, ensuring they have greater access to profitable, income-generating activities.

MEMO/17/1243

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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