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European Union External Action

Tuvalu and the EU

Tuvalu is one of the UN-defined Least Developed Countries and faces significant problems, including:

  • sea-level rise
  • geographical isolation
  •  lack of fertile land
  • inability to reap economies of scale, affecting the provision of goods and services.

Development cooperation

Past EU assistance

2008-13 – €5.5 million under the European Development Fund, focusing on the water, sanitation and the waste sectors.

This has enabled most of Tuvalu's population to benefit from increased household rainwater harvesting and storage capacities - with 1,233 water tanks delivered and installed, covering 86 percent of households in the outer islands.


The environmental impact of household liquid waste disposal has been reduced by:

  • 45 composting toilets (constructed, installed and nearly finalised)
  • approx. 90 more units to be built in priority outer islands by mid-2017. 

Waste management

  • Household practice – households have improved water conservation and management in Funafuti and in the outer islands.
  • Equipment provided – tractors, trailers, excavators; 950 household and 21 medical waste bins, 30 sharp containers and 10 waste oil containers.
  • Institutions – a government body – the Solid Waste Management Agency – has been set up and its staff trained in the use of relevant machinery.

Renewables & energy security

A €2 million project has given the 3 small islands of Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Nui the capacity to generate clean solar-produced electricity 24 hours a day (as opposed to the current diesel supply of electricity, lasting only 18 hours a day).

Capacity building & governance activities

Under the EDF Regional Programme, Tuvalu has received support for climate change adaptation, deep-sea minerals, sustainable management of fisheries, tourism, trade policy, agricultural development, public finance and hazardous waste management.

Current EU assistance (2014-20)

€6.8 million, mainly for waste management – to help Tuvalu achieve a sustainable, integrated waste management system, that operates effectively and efficiently.

Priority areas are likely to cover:

  • waste collection and disposal
  • improved legal framework
  • renewed general emphasis on reducing, reusing and recycling waste
  • significant capacity development.

Programme implementation should start in early 2017.

Funding in 2014-20 under the EDF


Indicative funding

As a % of the total

Renewables & energy efficiency



Measures in favour of civil society



Support measures (technical assistance to NAO, technical cooperation facility, audit, evaluation)






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