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Situated in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar, Comoros consists of three islands with a total area of 1861 km² and an estimated population of 600 000, giving it a very high average population density. Comoros is an LDC (one of the world's least developed countries) with an estimated GDP per capita of $520, low productivity and low economic diversification. In 2005 it was ranked 132nd out of 177 countries in a human development index (2005). Politically, the national reconciliation process, begun in 2001, has led to new constitution, and the presidential elections in mid-2006 brought a change of regime. As part of a poverty reduction plan, the new government wants to decentralise and to reform public finance and the justice system.
The Country Strategy Paper for Comoros (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for cooperation between the European Commission (EC) and Comoros under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). EC assistance will concentrate mainly on education and roads. Roads are important for trade, agricultural development, the expansion of tourism and the private sector generally, access to social services and collective facilities, access to better education services and technical and vocational training.
Additional aid will be available for measures to improve governance and strengthen institutions, e.g. organisation of elections, reform of the justice system, administration and public finance, decentralisation and foreign aid coordination.
The multi-annual indicative programme for Comoros under the 10th EDF provides €45.1 million to tackle these priorities.
All EC support for Comoros takes account of cross-cutting issues such as gender, good governance and HIV/AIDS.
EU-Comoros cooperation has traditionally focused chiefly on infrastructure and rural development.
The Country Strategy Paper for Comoros (2002-2007) concentrated on education, support for non-state actors and governance under 9th EDF funding.
Examples of projects:
- education sector support programme – €16m
- decentralised cooperation programme – €11m
- support for national authorising officer – €2.6m
The decentralised cooperation programme, begun in 2006, has benefited from greater involvement on the part of local communities. The progress made has encouraged more responsible stakeholders to take part, enabled "microprojects" to get off the ground and led to better waste management.
For more information on projects and programmes in Comoros financed by the European Development Fund and the general budget of the EU, please visit the project section of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius, which is responsible for the Comoros.
Other sources of information
Additional information about the EU’s relations with Comoros is available from the European Commission Delegation to Mauritius, which is responsible for co-operation activities in Comoros.