19 May 2007 04:27

SOMALIA WATCH

 
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  • [SW Country] (ION 997, USAID Release ) Europe's Aid Strategy, USAID - Building Democracy in Somalia  :Posted on 19 June 2002

25/05/02 SOMALIA
Europe's Aid Strategy

In spite of the absence of an internationally-recognized government in Somalia, the European Union has scheduled nearly 200 million euros to the country over five years.

The European Commission is to manage the 199 million euros that the European Union sees fit to grant to Somalia over the next five years. An initial sum of 50 million euros, representing the remains of the 8th FED should be handed over by 2003 while waiting for the 9th FED to kick in. In a recent document spelling out its Somalian strategy, the Commission explains that it is "in a spirit of neutrality" that it will concentrate its institutional assistance on decentralized administrative structures, in particular on the main communities of Somaliland and Puntland. They are the only zones where, according to the Commission, large-scale and long-term rehabilitation of the infrastructures can be even considered, since elsewhere, and notably in the south, the lack of safety guarantees forbids it.

The other beneficiaries of the European aid will be "the parliament(s)" as well as civil society. The administrations will receive basic equipment supplies and support for rehabilitating their offices as well as the reinforcement of their capacities, the priority being the judicial apparatus. The support to vulnerable populations will include technical assistance to farmers and shepherds to improve the use of the soil and the management of the water. The EU will support public health programs and bring its weight to bear in the fight against contagious diseases while aiming for an improved access to quality education, in particular for girls.

Aid to productive sectors foresees the continuing of development of transport corridors from the north of Somalia, including the Ethiopian hinterland in order to gain access to the sea. The EU will continue its actions in the area of micro-credits, promoting investments, and encouraging associations in the private sector. It also intends to act "realistically" in the exploitation of natural and mineral products , in order to favor growth and development which it hopes will prove conducive to the return of expatriates. The basic word of the strategy boils down to flexibility, in view of the country's "unpredictable" political evolution.

THE INDIAN OCEAN NEWSLETTER N 997

Building Democracy in Somalia


This year, USAID is requesting funds for and notifying the Somalia program separately from the larger Greater Horn of Africa Initiative (GHAI). In past years, Development Assistance (DA) activities funded in Somalia were grouped together with other activities in the remaining eight countries that comprise the Greater Horn. The results sought and reported were thus not Somalia- specific. With this change, it will become easier to understand and track what USAID implements and proposes to fund with DA in Somalia. In this transition year, however, Somalia-specific performance measures and targets are still being finalized for the Somalia-specific objectives.

In 2001, the Integrated Strategic Plan for Somalia set the goal: "A More Secure, Less Vulnerable Somalia in Transition Towards Sustainable Development." This strategy supports the "building blocks/peace dividend" approach to Somalia, which rewards the accomplishments of regional administrations-relative stability, militia disarmament or control, expanded civil society, participatory governance structures, and security. At the same time, the critical needs of the most vulnerable Somalis-those affected by drought and conflict-must be met. Development Assistance, Child Survival and Disease (CSD), International Disaster Assistance (IDA), food aid, refugee assistance, and mine action funds all aim to promote a more secure, less vulnerable Somalia in transition towards sustainable development.

The FY 2002 Democracy and Governance program will continue
to build the capacity of civil society organizations and strengthen the judiciary at the regional level. USAID-funded conflict mitigation and reconciliation activities will also continue through an NGO.


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