The European Union is stepping up cooperation with Mali and the implementation of structural reforms to improve security, governance and access to basic services in the country.
This additional support of €50 million was formally agreed today by Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, and Kamissa Camara, Mali's Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in Nouakchott (Mauritania), on the fringes of the Partner-Donor Coordination Conference organised by the G5 Sahel.
Commissioner Mimica said: "These extra €50 million reaffirm the EU's continuing commitment to peace and development in Mali and to its people. The purpose of these additional funds is to support the progress that the Malian authorities have undertaken to deliver to the people of Mali, in implementing structural reforms."
The extra amount will increase the resources allocated to the budget support programmes under way in Mali aimed at implementing reforms in strategic sectors in the short term. These reforms will make it possible to strengthen security in Mali, fight against corruption, improve access to elementary education, in particular for girls, improve access to a fair justice system, increase the provision of professional training, and reduce food and nutrition insecurity.
Several contracts have been signed under the European Development Fund: (i) an additional €40 million to support state reform and consolidation, (ii) an additional €30 million for the contract for sectoral reform of food security, nutrition and agricultural development, (iii) a justice support programme worth €7 million, and (iv) a programme for access to drinking water and sanitation worth €11.5 million.
The European Union is Mali's main partner in the field of development cooperation. This additional support of €50 million brings the budget allocated to Mali under the European Development Fund to a total of €665 million for 2014-2020. With regard to development, the EU is committed to supporting Mali in the following four priority sectors: (i) Peace-building and state reform, (ii) Rural development and food security, (iii) Education, and (iv) Infrastructure.
Through the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the EU also supports Mali in managing the root causes of irregular migration. Under this Fund, over €195 million has been allocated to measures to support the improvement of security, border management, access to basic services and job creation, particularly for young people and women. The EU is also working hard to encourage private investments in Mali aimed at generating growth and employment under the EU's External Investment Plan.
A number of operations blending loans and grants, for a total of €114.8 million, are financing the construction of road and energy infrastructure. Guarantee mechanisms will also make it possible to encourage investments aimed at supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (ALCB GP), sustainable cities (RECIDE) and the development of renewable energy (DESCO).
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