Situated in the Western Indian Ocean Mozambique Channel, Comoros consists of three small islands that host a population of around 700,000, giving it a very high population density. Comoros is one of the least developed countries in the world, ranking third from last in the 2013 Global Hunger Index, with 45% of the population living under the poverty line.
Inadequate agricultural resources, endemic youth unemployment, public institutions which are still fragile after two decades of political instability; these are all difficulties the people of Comoros have to cope with. The country faces three major challenges: maintaining the stability of the country's institutions and giving them the means to operate properly, diversifying their economy and ensuring economic growth above the rate of population growth and taking specific measures in order to stem the island's poverty.
The elections of 2010 led to the engagement of the national reconciliation process, the application of the referendum law and the adoption of a mechanism of rotating presidency among the three main islands. These were fundamental advances for the implementation of the necessary basis for the development. Comoros is on track to achieve two of all the Millennium Development Goals before 2015: the access to the primary education for all, and the reduction of the mortality rate among under-five children.
The Country Strategy Paper for Comoros (2008-2013) , signed in December 2007, presented the strategic framework for cooperation between the European Union and Comoros for the 10thEuropean Development Fund (EDF). Under the 10th EDF, the EU has provided in total €63 million to tackle three priorities: governance, transport, and education, as well as post cyclonic rehabilitation. These areas were consistent with Comoros' development strategy, defined in the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Document (GPRSD), identifying ways of enabling the country to consolidate its foundations for sustainable development.
The programming of the 11th EDF has been delayed in order to properly align with the Comoros national development strategy for the period 2015-2020, the SCADD (Stratégie de Croissance Accélérée et Développement Durable), which will be approved by the end of 2014. The priority sectors of intervention and the financial allocation will be determined in coherence with the national development strategy. Also, joint programming with France is being pursued.