EU confirms support to Horn of Africa
Today, the EU has confirmed that it will support the wider region of the Horn of Africa with a total of €3 billion until 2020. The announcement comes ahead of a visit to the region by Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate for Development and Cooperation, Marcus Cornaro, and European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos.
They will participate in a joint high-level mission of international organisations that includes UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, Islamic Development Bank President, Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, and African Union Commission Deputy Chair, Erastus Mwencha.
The trip will take the development leaders to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia, where they will meet heads of state and governments as well as ministers and representatives of civil society, among others, to discuss challenges and future cooperation in the region.
Prior to the trip EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, commented: "The EU stands ready to further deepen its long-standing partnership with the Horn of Africa – helping to build robust and accountable political structures, enhancing trade and economic cooperation, financing peace keeping activities and providing humanitarian assistance and development cooperation. Our support will help the people of the Greater Horn on their path to much needed peace, stability, resilience and growth.”
The EU is a key political and economic partner of the countries in the Horn of Africa. This close relationship is reflected in the EU's 2011 Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa focussing on:
Wide-ranging political dialogue
Trade, regional integration and economic cooperation
Crisis response and crisis management, including financing of peace keeping missions and initiatives
The comprehensive approach of the EU covers for instance support to better connections between countries within the Horn of Africa region (e.g. transport, energy); support to the state building process in Somalia and the African peace keeping force AMISOM, as well as training of Somali security forces; fighting piracy in the Western Indian Ocean through an EU naval force (EU NAVFOR – Atalanta).
The €3 billion EU support in development cooperation to the countries of the Horn will principally come from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The largest share of this will be channelled through bilateral funding to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya; parts will also go to regional organisations.
EU programmes will focus on the main development challenges to be addressed in order to unlock the region's potential. The EU is assisting in the building of robust and accountable political structures, working to resolve conflicts, increasing the region's ability to prevent and deal with drought and famine, and promoting economic growth that will reduce poverty.
Bilateral EDF support 2014-2020 for the countries visited during this trip amounts to:
Ethiopia €745 million
Somalia €286 million
Djibouti €105 million
Kenya €435 million
The EU is also a significant trading partner with the countries of the Horn. In 2013 total exports from the EU amounted to €4.8 billion, and imports to €2.3 billion.
The EU has also provided over €1 billion in humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa since 2011, responding to an acute and protracted displacement crisis as well as the recurrent food and nutrition crisis.