An international donor conference 'Together for a new Mali', organised by the European Union and France, together with Mali, took place in Brussels today. Represented at the highest levels, the international community has mobilised decisively in support of Mali's development priorities. Donors have made public financial commitments on the basis of the Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali 2013-2014 (PRED) presented by the Malian government. Of the €4.343 billion budget needed to implement the PRED, financial commitments and pledges for a total of €3.25 billion, have been announced by the donors.
The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso noted: 'It is crucial that Mali's social and economic development and the consolidation of a stable state built on solid democratic foundations go hand in hand with efforts to stabilise the country. Today marks an important step forward in the social, economic and democratic renewal of Mali. By securing the pledged aid required by the country to achieve its development priorities, the international community has sent a strong signal that, collectively, we can feel proud of. This show of solidarity is crucial for all Malians and the country as a whole, the future of which concerns not only the entire Sahel region but international stability. The European Union is proud to be at the forefront of these efforts.'
The French President, François Hollande, said: 'Mali is on the road to recovery. It is recovering its territorial integrity, is actively preparing for the presidential elections in July and, with the International donor conference in Brussels, is making progress in its development.'
According to Mali's interim President, Dioncounda Traore: 'Cooperation between Mali and the EU dates back to the earliest days of our country's independence in 1960. These relations have become stronger and more diversified over the years and today the European Union is Mali's leading strategic partner. The holding of this international donor conference to aid Mali's development in Brussels, at the heart of the European Union, is clear proof of the value of this cooperation. In addition to this courageous initiative to raise funds for the reconstruction of Mali, the European Union is strongly committed to the process of helping to bring Mali out of its crisis from both a security and political perspective by providing training for the defence and security forces through the EUTM and support for the elections. The outlook for this cooperation is particularly promising and it will be up and running at normal, even optimal, speed with the implementation of the 10th European Development Fund.'
The European Union will allocate €1.35 billion to Mali, of which €523.9 million from the European Commission - including €12 million in humanitarian aid to meet the most urgent needs, bringing total humanitarian aid for Mali since early 2012 to €127 million.
Mali is at the heart of the security and development crisis affecting the Sahel region. Mali's interim President and transitional government have set themselves two fundamental objectives, namely, the restoration of the country's territorial integrity and the holding of free and transparent elections. The international military intervention in support of the Malian armed forces engaged in the fight against terrorism, the adoption in January 2013 of a transition roadmap by the legitimate authorities of Mali and the process of transforming the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (MISMA) authorised by the UN create a new context in which the objectives of the international community will be:
support for the full restoration of the constitutional order on the basis of the transition roadmap including the holding of peaceful, credible and unconditional presidential and general elections in 2013 and an inclusive national dialogue;
support for the restoration of the authority of the state and the rule of law throughout the country while upholding the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Mali, and support for the eradication of groups affiliated to criminal and terrorist organisations;
- support for the restoration of all public services, especially basic services;
- support for the return in dignity and in freedom of refugees and displaced persons;
- support for restarting an economic and social development dynamic.