EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel said Thursday that international donors pledged more than $250 million to boost security for Somalia and try to stop the rampant attacks by pirates in recent months.
He said the money has already exceeded the initial request made by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The funds included at least $134 million for the African Union peacekeeping mission and another $31 million will go to training the Somali police force by the United Nations and developing Somali security forces and their oversight bodies.
The package also included aid for medicine, education and rural development under the sponsor of the European Development Fund.
Ban told reporters at the one-day donors conference We have just begun the first step of an important process to restore rule of law in Somali….which has been a lawless state for 20 years.
Piracy is a symptom of anarchy and insecurity on the ground and more security will make less piracy on the seas, Ban said at the meeting.
Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed pledged to do everything imaginable to stabilize Somalia security and fight piracy.
Last year, Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, one of the world's most important waterways.
Many countries and organizations including the U.S. , the European Union, NATO, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea have deployed warships to the region. For now, the pirates still hold at least 15 ships and over 250 crew members.