A picture of EU aid for Somalia

Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton at a January 2013 press conference. This week's recently-concluded high-level conference in Brussels ended with a bright note for Somalia and its multimillion support aid from the European union over the next three years. Photo by: European External Action Service / CC BY-NC-ND

The bulk of aid pledges made for Somalia’s development and reconstruction at Monday’s high-level conference in Brussels came from the European Union, which promised a support of €650 million over the next three years.

The package is a mix of €278 million from the 10th European Development Fund, and €372 million from the new 11th EDF. But this can be expected to increase to include assistance for the African Union peacekeeping mission which Brussels has been supporting since 2007, EU spokesperson Maria Sanchez-Aponte told Devex.

Support for AMISOM in the next three years “has yet to be decided,” she added.

This is the same for the EU’s priorities in Somalia for the coming years. Brussels has said it will align its support with the new compact, under which the international community and the government of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud are expected to rally behind five key priority goals for peace and state building: economic recovery, improved public finances and services, inclusive politics, justice and security.

But “concrete priorities is not yet precise at this moment … This is a living document, and it’s going to change over time,” said Sanchez-Aponte.

The EU’s focus in Somalia has been on governance, economic development and education. It is not yet clear how exactly the new aid will be channeled, or if aid groups will have access to all or part of it, though most of the package can be expected to go to budget support.

Other aid pledges

Other European donors also stepped up at the conference, announcing their own aid pledges that are expected to push Somalia’s development and recovery forward after decades of conflict that continues to this day.

The United Kingdom, which in May also hosted a separate conference on Somalia, pledged 50 million pounds, although this appears to be composed of already committed funds, according to Aponte.

Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway, meanwhile, announced €120 million, €90 million, €110 million and $253 million, respectively. The rest of the money making up the reported €1.8 billion however is yet to be accounted for.

Aponte said: “We don’t have them yet because [we still have] to cross-check and that will take some time.”

Somalia has had its share of challenges this year, such as violent attacks against aid groups providing humanitarian and development assistance in the country, a persistent scenario that led the Medecins Sans Frontieres to pull out of the country in June. But donors insist these security setbacks are not going to deter them from supporting the fledgling government.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.