The European Union will contribute 37 million euros ($47.6 million) to the Program to Promote Regional Maritime Security, which will boost the fight against piracy in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The money will be used to develop the legal system in the affected countries, strengthen financial oversight systems that could prevent the flow of money to pirates, share expertise and training, and provide security support. Anti-piracy awareness campaigns will also be set up in Somalia and other piracy-heavy areas.
According to figures from the European Union, nearly 300 piracy attacks occurred in the region in 2011, and only 111 attacks happened a year later. Hijackings dropped from 25 in 2011 to 12 in 2012.
“This new funding is another sign of our commitment to stamping out piracy,” EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said in a statement. “It forms part of our comprehensive approach to assisting countries in the region, which means that we deal with the causes as well as the symptoms of piracy. We have made huge strides over last few years, and this money will help to build on the progress we have made by strengthening legal systems, improving financial controls and training young men to find alternatives to piracy.” - Jon Ross