On 17 January 2013, the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU convened in an extraordinary meeting aimed at addressing the troubling situation in Mali. One of the results was a EUR 20 million stabilisation support package, approved under the Instrument for Stability (IfS), and managed and implemented by the EU Delegation in Mali.
The package for Mali provided immediate support to the country’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 much-needed support represented an early instalment of the EU's comprehensive response to the crisis in Mali, and complemented the on-going efforts of the Union through other instruments.
To swiftly deliver concrete results, the EU relied on the implementation expertise of a mixture of EU Member State agencies and other partners, including the UNDP and civil society organisations.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said, "This first stabilisation support package is yet another contribution from the EU to assist Mali to fully restore State authority and stability. It will also help the Malian people through support for the restoration of basic State services. In the coming weeks, the EU will take further decisions to contribute to international efforts in support of Mali and to help the Malian Government and people achieve long-term stability, security and development."
Also in the Sahel region, the IfS is currently supporting projects focusing on the reinforcement of border management capacities in Mauritania, security and stabilisation in the northern regions of Niger and Mali, and the building of national capacities for the fight against terrorism and organised crime networks in the region.
The IfS – managed and implemented by the FPI – is a key external assistance instrument, enabling the EU to contribute to international conflict prevention and provide urgent responses to current and emerging crises. In 2012, IfS funding was deployed in the form of around 40 crisis response actions worldwide.