Somalia Conference – Commissioner Piebalgs announced €650 million pledge from the EC

imageSomalia Conference – Commissioner Piebalgs announced €650 million pledge from the EC

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, September 16, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Statement by Commissioner Piebalgs:
“Today’s high level conference on Somalia marks a milestone in EU-Somalia relations, bringing together the international community and Somalia to endorse the Somali Compact, pledge support to enable its implementation and, above all, commit to this new political process.
As the biggest donor to Somalia, as well as a long-term friend and partner, the EU has provided some €521 million between 2008 and 2013 and already achieved considerable results –getting 40,000 children into school, providing safe water for half a million people and helping 70,000 people to produce livestock, to name but a few. So today, we are very proud to announce the new EU approach to the way we work in Somalia. The Somali Compact, which will guide our cooperation in Somalia in the coming three years, will align our support behind Somali priorities and enable us to better coordinate the development work currently undertaken in Somalia, working together with the Somali government, parliament, regions and civil society.
I also warmly welcome Somalia to the Cotonou Agreement. Somalia’s accession to the agreement marks a new chapter in EU-Somalia relations and epitomises the progress that Somalia has already made over the past year. This accession will bring vital new opportunities for the country and its people.
Last but not least, I am pleased to announce that the European Commission has today pledged €650 million to support Somalia and its people. After more than two decades, the Somali people urgently need to see progress in the provision of basic services. They deserve decent healthcare, clean water, a good education, and real hopes for a better future, like anyone else. But partnership must be at the core of our efforts. We can only succeed in our aims if we work together. I hope that today’s conference will be a significant step towards achieving that.”

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