Somalia is located on the Horn of Africa, bordering Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia and having a coastline on the Indian Ocean. The total size is 638,000 km² with a population of 9.1 million and the capital is Mogadishu on the southern coast.
After sixteen years of civil war, Somalia faces the key challenges of building peace and security, establishing democratic processes and institutions and strengthening human rights. Waves of violence, caused by inter-clan rivalry and terrorism, have devastated Mogadishu, and other parts of the country as groups try to consolidate power.
In the autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland limited progress has been made in establishing a secure environment, developing a democratic process, building institutions and addressing the basic needs of citizens.
Given the political situation, Somalia faces many development challenges. Life expectancy is extremely low, infant and child mortality is extremely high and access to sanitation is limited. The number of internally displaced persons is around one million people.
The EU has long supported the establishment of a peaceful and secure environment in Somalia. The EU encourages reconciliation, democracy and the development of governance structures at all levels. The critical goal is to deliver a new constitution, adopted by referendum, and to have democratically elected institutions by the end of the transitional period. The EU also provides assistance to the Somali people, particularly the most vulnerable groups and aids in the reconstruction of the country. This is done by linking relief with rehabilitation and development and putting in place disaster preparedness measures. Restoring the rule of law through support of Somali-owned governance and security sector initiatives is another EU objective.
Priority is given to promoting a peaceful environment in which human rights are respected and democratic institutions can develop. Providing basic social services and creating an environment for sustainable and equitable economic growth will improve the lives of the poorest and the most vulnerable groups. Gender, environment, HIV/AIDS and conflict prevention issues are mainstreamed into all issue areas. The private sector has managed to develop during the past turbulent decade and support needs to be given to ensure its continued growth.