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Minister Costello announces funding of €700,000 for Mali

Funding, International relations, Irish Aid, Minister Joe Costello, Press Releases, Africa, 2013

The Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD today announced €700,000 in funding to provide life-saving emergency assistance to refugees and internally displaced in Mali and to support ongoing efforts by the international community to respond to the crisis and support the recovery process in Mali.

This announcement coincides with the official announcement of the outcome of the Presidential elections which resulted in the election of Mr Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Speaking on the outcome of the elections, Minister of State Costello said:

“The peaceful atmosphere in which these elections have taken place and the large turnout over both rounds is a clear demonstration of the Malian people’s desire to restore constitutional order in the country. I welcome the work undertaken by all Malians in ensuring that the elections were credible and transparent. The European Union, through the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, has indicated its willingness to support the newly elected Government in its efforts to promote lasting peace and national reconciliation and boost development throughout the country. Ireland fully supports the EU’s comprehensive approach in Mali, working through political and diplomatic engagement, security assistance as well as development cooperation and humanitarian action to address the root causes and effects of instability in Mali and the wider Sahel region.”

The Minister also recalled the significant role played in the run up to the elections, as EU Presidency, in the first six months of this year.

The Minister said:

“Ireland, during its recent EU Presidency, is proud to have played a role in the international efforts that have brought much needed stability and security for the people, especially by facilitating discussion and action at the EU level. We are proud also to contribute trainers and HQ personnel to the EU Training Mission which is working to strengthen and reform the Malian army, including by providing important training in human rights.”

Acknowledging the grave humanitarian situation in Mali and neighbouring countries, he stated: 

“Since early 2012, almost half a million Malians have been displaced due to the conflict in the North. There are over 175,000 Malian refugees in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger while more than 350,000 people are displaced within Mali. Overall, over a quarter of Mali’s 15.8 million citizens are in need of assistance.”

€500,000 of the funding announced today will go to the World Food Programme (WFP), the lead agency for hunger and nutrition in the region. The funding will assist the WFP to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance, while at the same time building on communities’ resilience to face future shocks. The remaining €200,000 has been allocated to the UN Trust Fund in Support of Peace and Security in Mali specifically to support activities related to the preparation of presidential and legislative elections in Mali.