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The Federated States of Micronesia is situated in the western Pacific Ocean and consists of more than 600 mountainous volcanic islands and coral atolls scattered over some 3 million km² of ocean. In 2006, Micronesia's per capita GDP was estimated to be US$2.300. While heavily relying on external funding, the economy is dominated by subsistence farming/fisheries, wholesale/retail trade as well as the provision of government services. The country's remoteness from major trading markets greatly impedes its ability to economically compete in the global market. Micronesia has rather poor health indicators, particularly in the remote outer islands and rural areas, which basic social services often fail to reach. Like many other Pacific island states, Micronesia is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters such as cyclones.
The Country Strategy Paper for Micronesia (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for cooperation between the European Commission (EC) and Micronesia under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). Micronesia relies mostly on imported fossil fuels, which places an increasing strain on the economy. In particular, the shortage of energy supply to the rural areas and outer islands is creating an obstacle to progressive development. Therefore, EC assistance under the 10th EDF will concentrate on the energy sector, in particular the provision of renewable sources of energy, in order to help the government to develop an adequate, equitable and secure supply of energy throughout the country.
The EC's total allocation (2008-2013) foreseen for Micronesia to address these priorities amounts to €9 million.
Already the Country Strategy Paper for Micronesia (2002-2007) under 9th EDF funding gave priority to developing renewable energy sources to redress the imbalance between the urban centres and the outer islands. The implementation of the still ongoing Renewable Energy Programme began in January 2006 and focuses on the provision of PV solar systems in rural areas and the remote outer islands. For example, the islands of Yap will get a mini-grid, in Pohnpei and Chuuk dispensaries and schools will be equipped with solar systems, while Kosrae will get PV grid connected systems.
For further details on projects and programmes in Micronesia funded from the European Development Fund 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 Micronesia.
Other sources of information
The Directorate-General for Development is responsible for drawing up the cooperation strategy with Micronesia.
More information on EU relations with Micronesia is available on the pages of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific on Fiji Island, which is also responsible for co-operation activities in Micronesia.
Information on trade relations in the ACP region can be found on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade.