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The Republic of the Marshall Islands comprises several islands and atolls, many of them uninhabited and scattered across hundreds of miles in the central Pacific between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. The total land area of about 170 km² bears few accessible natural resources to sustain its 56,000 inhabitants. The combination of vast distances, limited resources, population growth and inadequate education is increasing economic and development cost and putting a strain on the existing infrastructure.
The Country Strategy Paper for the Marshall Islands (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for EC assistance with the Marshall Islands under the 10th EDF. The EC’s co-operation with the Marshall Islands under the 10th EDF focuses on the water and energy sector, and more specifically on new and renewable energy resources. EC support will contribute to addressing the basic energy needs of the outer islands through securing a sustainable and environmentally sound energy supply. The assistance is complementary to the government's efforts to improve the living conditions in the outer islands and to redress inequalities by spreading the benefits of growth more evenly while following an approach of sustainably managing natural resources.
EC interventions in the Marshall Islands also take account of cross-cutting issues, in particular climate change and environmental sustainability, but also democracy, good governance, human rights, the rights of children and indigenous people, gender equality and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The multi-annual indicative programme for the Marshall Islands under the 10th EDF allocates €5.8 million to address these priorities.
The Country Strategy Paper for the Marshall Islands (2002-2007) under the 9th EDF adopted renewable energy as principal sector for co-operation activities. The focus of these still ongoing activities is the multi-country renewable energy programme, covering also Palau, Nauru, Niue and the Federated States of Micronesia. In the Republic of the Marshall Islands the programme focuses on providing household solar systems to outer island communities.
In addition, the Marshall Islands Non-State Actors Capacity Building Programme (MINSAP) has started in 2007 with the objective to increase the capacity of non-state actors (NSAs). The aim is to positively address the most urgent social problems, particularly amongst adolescents by increasing NSA's opportunities for access to funding and capacity building.
For further details on projects and programmes in the Marshall Islands funded from the European Development Fund (EDF) and the general budget of the EU, please visit the project's section of the website of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific on Fiji Island, responsible for the Marshall Islands.
Other sources of information
The Directorate-General for Development is responsible for drawing up the co-operation strategy with the Marshall Islands.
More information on EU relations with the Republic of the Marshall Islands is available on the pages of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, which is also responsible for co-operation activities in the country.
Information on trade relations in the ACP region can be found on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade.