The European Union, France and Mali are organising an international donors' conference for Mali in Brussels today. Participants include the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, the President of France François Hollande, the Presidents of Mali and Niger Dioncounda Traoré and Issoufou Mahamadou, and a number of EU Commissioners, Prime Ministers and Ministers from Europe and Africa.
The event aims to give a big boost to the development priorities of the Sahel region and its countries which has been hit by drought, hunger and conflict. The main deliverable of the conference is a generous and comprehensive "Plan for the Sustainable Revival of Mali" for 2013-2014. The contribution of the European Commission will reach €523.9 million.
This package includes a €12 million increase in humanitarian aid to respond to the most urgent needs, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva announced. This brings the Commission's humanitarian assistance for the country to €127 million since the start of 2012.
To assist the internally displaced people in Mali's North and the refugees in neighbouring countries, Commissioner Georgieva and Commissioner Piebalgs have also allocated a package of €23 million in additional EU aid for healthcare, emergency education, access to clean water and other basic needs.