Development aid from the European Commission
On-going, mostly multi-year EU-funded programmes in Somaliland currently amount to approximately €62 million. There are 63 projects ongoing: 27 projects in the governance sector amounting to €21.9 million; 13 projects in the education sector, amounting to €11.2 million; 13 projects in support to economic growth amounting to €15.1 million; and 9 projects worth €8.5 million in other sectors (health, water and sanitation) and EU Flight Operations worth €5.3 million.
EU support to governance and security
The Interpeace-implemented Democratisation programme (different components worth a total a total €3.4 million) supported the delivery of a free and fair presidential election which was held in Somaliland in June 2010. The EU contributed to half of the costs of the elections. Currently, the project enhances and further consolidates the institutional and professional capacities of the National Electoral Commission and provides substantial technical assistance to support parliamentary and local elections to be held in Somaliland.
Support to the legislative Sector in Somaliland: through the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA) the EU offers training, workshops, seminars and study visits for parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with the objective to create an environment that fosters knowledge sharing of the democratic process. The programme (worth €1.26 million) has been actively supporting legislative institutions since 2004. It has also provided equipment and built a new plenary hall for Somaliland’s parliament in Hargeisa that was inaugurated in 2011.
EU support to education
The EU ‘Education Programme’ aims at contributing to the development of a sustainable, cohesive education system through the provision of relevant services to the entire population. The Somaliland Ministry of Education is supported with training and technical assistance. Access to primary and secondary education is improved through the construction and rehabilitation of schools and the training of new teachers; and Somaliland youth have a better chance of finding jobs through vocational education and training.
More than an estimated 80 percent of Somalilanders are currently illiterate. With EU support, around 180,000 adults and children in Somaliland have been trained since 2008 and have been given the opportunity of an education. EU support to this sector amounts to €36 million (Somaliland component) over a 6-year period.
The Accelerated Primary Education Support Programme: implemented by a consortium of NGOs, the programme (worth €2.1 million) increases access to quality primary education for school age children (including girls) from poor and marginalised communities. Key results of this programme so far include the construction and refurbishment of 90 new permanent classrooms in formal schools and training centres, the renovation of 40 classrooms already existing and the review and update of text books and curricula in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and training for 70 head teachers on inclusive and gender sensitive planning and management of schools.
EU support to health
Safe Motherhood in Hargeisa: 972 mothers delivered their babies safely in health facilities supported through the EU-funded Health Poverty Action (HPA) project. This is an extraordinary accomplishment in a context where more than half of pregnant women deliver without the presence of a trained health worker and face the risk of death or disability due to pregnancy-related complications. Up until 2009, there was no functional hospital referral system for obstetric emergencies in Somaliland. With EU funding (€2,1 million) HPA successfully established a maternity referral system including free transportation and free obstetric health services for indigent mothers in Hargeisa and has helped more than 2,800 mothers since its inception. In 2010, HPA developed and aired 13 radio programmes on positive health seeking behaviour. The uptake of modern family planning devices is also on the increase. This is a result of sustained efforts to promote health education through radio programmes, outreach theatre as well as counselling by trained nursing staff.
Training Human Resources for Health: implemented by the Tropical Health and Education Trust in partnership with Kings College Hospital in London, this project (worth €585,000) provides training to health professionals addressing the human resource development needs of the health sector and effectively contributing to saving lives. 31 medical students have been assisted with skills-based, interactive and participative teaching tools. It is also expected that almost 500 students enrolled in the academic year 2010-11 will benefit from effective training methodologies and clinical development in areas of need.
The EU and the Millennium Development Goals
Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide a framework, both global and local, for the entire international community to work together towards a common end: making sure that human development reaches everyone, everywhere. Despite the inherent difficulties, Somaliland can already report considerable achievements which are the result of EU-funded initiatives in the period 2004-2010:
MDG 1 Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
- almost 10,000 Somalilanders benefitted from technical and vocational education and training
- 35,580 Somalilanders targeted with unconditional cash transfers
MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
- 13,000 primary school teachers were trained and of these 4,000 were fully certified
- 100 schools were built or rehabilitated
- 75,000 pupils were enrolled in primary education (with a ratio of 6:4 of boys and girls)
MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women
- 7,800 new female students were enrolled in secondary education
- 60 scholarships were awarded in Somaliland for female trainees
MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality & MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health
- 3,700 births were attended by skilled health personnel
- 101,000 consultations took place on reproductive health
MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
- 600,000 Somalilanders benefited from improved drinking water
- 300,000 Somalilanders benefited from training and various activities of awareness raising for improved hygiene and sanitation
EU support to economic development
The EU supports agriculture and livestock production and marketing. It also promotes initiatives aimed at reducing unemployment and underemployment in urban areas through labour-intensive infrastructure projects and job creation. Interventions mobilize local expertise and labour potential by contracting small and medium-sized enterprises and, with that, promote private sector development in various fields including energy, electricity and water services. EU-funded projects also support Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as supplementary and innovative means in the provision of public services.
An Irrigation project (worth €2.5 million) in the Awdal Region (Somaliland) will start in July 2011, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The project aims to raise agricultural productivity and net incomes of poor rural households in Somaliland by providing an integrated package of support covering irrigation, agricultural advisory services, marketing and post-harvest support and technical assistance in the framework of private-led economic development.
The Somali Animal Health Services project (worth €1.5 million) provides training and technical assistance to various institutions in Somaliland which provide animal disease surveillance. The project helped developing the Somaliland Veterinary Code and trained staff in the use of commercially produced rapid diagnostic test kits for key trade limiting animal diseases.