The European Commission will be increasing its humanitarian response to the crisis in Mali by €20 million, bringing total contribution up to €101 million for 2012.
Kristalina Georgieva, currently visiting the region, said: ‘While all eyes have been on the conflict in the north of Mali it is essential that we bring the focus back on the humanitarian crisis. Millions of Malians are in dire need of urgent aid and relieving their suffering must be our number one priority. Thanks to early and coordinated action we managed this year to avert a catastrophe threatening 18 million people across the Sahel. But even as we work harder to ensure that such a crisis can never happen again by building resilience to natural disasters, we pledge that this work will not come at the expense of emergency response whenever and wherever it is needed.’
With the new funding the Commission aims to boost the relief effort in Mali, particularly in the North, as well as in neighbouring countries to which Malian refugees have fled as a result of the conflict. European assistance is being spent on bringing food, water and sanitation, shelter, health and protection to the most vulnerable Malians, especially children, women and the elderly.