The European Union's Political and Development Response to Somalia

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    This study explores the European Union’s (EU) political and development response to Somalia.1 Somalia descended into clan-based conflict in 1991 and has been without an fully recognised government and central state authority for 10 years2. In many respects Somalia is the epitome of a politically fragile state and, as such, has provided a major challenge to the international community and its approaches to the provision of assistance for rehabilitation, reconstruction and development. Since 1995 the EU has been the largest and perhaps the most significant donor in Somalia and has played a key role in shaping international policies towards the country.

    In terms of the size of aid flows, the EU is followed by the USA and Italy. Unlike the European Commission and Italy, most of whose expenditures are termed development expenditure, the USA provides predominantly emergency assistance, with almost half of its expenditures in 2000 going to a rural food security project implemented by the international non-governmental organisation (INGO), CARE. The European Commission is the largest donor in all sectors other than food security (USA) and governance (Italy). The remaining EU Member States provide predominantly emergency assistance, although Denmark, whilst only a minor donor, has recently assumed an important role as chair of the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB). In the absence of a government, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are not present in Somalia. 

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