The European Union has allocated €37 million (about US$47.7 million) for its Regional Maritime Security program to strengthen the fight against piracy in several Eastern and Southern African countries.
The new program will help to develop the legal and judicial system of countries in the region, so that they are better equipped for the arrest and transfer of pirates. Financial oversight systems will also be strengthened, by providing training for the authorities to prevent the movement of funds contributing to or resulting from piracy. Capacity-building, such as sharing expertise and implementing training, as well as providing material logistics support for security, will help to improve surveillance and patrol of the coastline.
In Somalia, in particular, the program will also carry out anti-piracy awareness campaigns in areas where piracy is prevalent, as well as providing vulnerable groups of young men with training so that they successfully pursue alternative vocations.
“Strengthening security in the maritime routes is crucial for us because it will help [boost] trade and growth in the region, which would enormously improve people's lives,” said Andris Piebalgs, the EU’s development commissioner, in a written statement.