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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 26 February 2013

The EU strengthens its joint development strategy in Mali and steps up its response

Today Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs hosted a coordination meeting of EU development ministers to reinforce the European Union's common response to Mali's development challenges.

This meeting with Mr Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs and with Mr Tienan Coulibaly, the Malian Minister of Economy and Finances, is an illustration of EU's commitment for increasing development effectiveness through joint-programming.

Commissioner Piebalgs stated: "Responding to the development needs in Mali requires both a critical mass in funding and excellent coordination. Today, we have taken a significant step towards designing a common, coherent and comprehensive European response. This joint approach will be presented at an international donors’ conference which France and the European Union will host in May."

Commissioner Piebalgs added: "Our strategy will be tailor made to the various development needs of the country, while also enabling us to implement the projects gradually; in a way that reflects the Malian authorities' concrete progress in putting in place the transition roadmap and full restoration of the rule of law. On top of assisting the country in restoring democracy and peace, we will focus primarily on social services, governance, decentralisation and supporting the economy."

One of the priorities will be to catch up on under-investments in the education and health sectors. This will allow for the resumption of large-scale immunisation programmes. The agricultural sector will also be supported by providing seeds and fertilisers to farmers to prevent future food crises. Resuming maintenance and constructing roads, as well as other deteriorated infrastructure, will create jobs (around 20,000 jobs envisaged) and support economic activity.

Additional programs will be implemented; covering governance (technical assistance for public finance management, audit etc.), the judicial system (training, rehabilitation of buildings…), the peace dialogue and human rights. Previous programs in sectors like water and sanitation, as well as in infrastructure (rehabilitation of roads, for example) will also be restarted.

Background

Between 28 January and 2 February, the EU carried out an in-depth needs assessment mission on the ground; the findings of which are laying the foundations of the new programmes that will be launched in Mali. The focus will be primarily on reconciliation, conflict prevention and supporting the electoral process, as well as providing basic services (health services, access to water and sanitation), strengthening food security and relaunching the economy.

Following the coup d’état of March 2012, the European Commission had adopted precautionary measures limiting aid programmes to direct support to the local population and to assisting the transition to democracy and to humanitarian aid. As announced by Commissioner Piebalgs at the informal EU development ministers meeting in Dublin on the 14th of February, the adoption of a "Roadmap for Transition" by the National Assembly of Mali on 29 January 2013 paved the way for the gradual resumption of development aid. Some €250 million may be mobilised for this purpose.

On the 29 January, at a donor conference on Mali hosted by the African Union in Addis Ababa, Commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs, representing the European Union, confirmed the contribution of €50 million from the European Union to support the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA).

On the 15 February 2013, the EU adopted an additional stabilisation support package worth €20 million under the Instrument for Stability (IfS) to provide immediate support to Mali's law enforcement and justice services, the Malian local authorities, dialogue and reconciliation initiatives at local level, and the first phases of the upcoming electoral process. This decision followed-up on the commitments agreed by the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council of 17 January.

For more information

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)


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