The Republic of the Marshall Islands comprises several islands and atolls – many uninhabited – scattered across hundreds of miles in the central Pacific between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. The total land area of about 170 km² has few accessible natural resources for 56,000 inhabitants.
The development challenges faced are: vast distances, limited resources, population growth and an inadequate provision of education. EU assistance targets the water and energy sectors.
The Country Strategy Paper for the Marshall Islands (2008-13) and a multi-annual indicative programme detail the priorities for €5.8 million of funding under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), notably a secure supply of environmentally sound energy for the outer islands.
This complements the government’s own activities to improve living conditions in the outer islands while managing natural resources in a sustainable manner. EU activities in the Marshall Islands take account of cross-cutting issues, in particular: climate change and environmental sustainability; respect for democracy, good governance, human rights, the rights of children and indigenous people; gender equality and the fight against HIV/AIDS.