News / Africa

Donors Pledge $4.2 Billion for Mali

Delegates participate at the Donor Conference for development in Mali at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, May 15, 2013.
Delegates participate at the Donor Conference for development in Mali at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, May 15, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
International donors have pledged more than $4.2 billion for development and peace-building efforts in Mali, a sum that far surpassed initial expectations for the pledging conference held Wednesday in Brussels.
The donations exceeded the $2.5 billion Malian officials hoped international donors would provide the West African nation. At a press conference in Brussels, French President Francois Hollande, who co-hosted the conference along with the European Union officials, characterized it as a big success.
"Now peace must succeed in Mali, the ingredients for that are there," said Hollande, explaining that development assistance will benefit all parts of the country by targeting critical areas such as water and infrastructure. "Malian authorities are determined to keep to their targeted July 28 date for presidential elections and Malians are united in wanting good governance."
At the start of Wednesday's conference in Brussels, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had encouraged donations, saying the money was needed to secure Mali's peace and stability.
"Development needs money, and today it is a meeting at the initiative of the European Union, France and Mali to get pledges from the international community to do very concrete things like helping farmers, implement water and electricity, to allow the development," said Fabius.
Malian Foreign Minister Tiena Coulibaly said the crisis with the militants is one that could spread to neighboring regions.
"Mali is an important country in the heart of Occidental Africa [west Africa] and you know that the political dynamics and the endemic violence in the Sahel region are part of a crisis that has been going on for several years and that could spread and touch other countries, so that is why it is important for the international community to stand together," said Coulibaly.
Echoing that sentiment, Mali's interim President Diacounde Traore said that, beyond money, the Brussels conference underscored a common commitment to battle the terrorism and jihadism that poses a threat well beyond Mali's borders.
"The fight against international terrorism helped fuel the extraordinary mobilization on behalf of Mali," he said, thanking the international community for its help.
Mali plunged into turmoil last year following a coup that allowed Islamist fighters to take control of large parts of the north. In recent months, French and African fighters have routed many of the extremists, and a United Nations peacekeeping force is expected to deploy as of early July to help stabilize the country.
The Brussels pledges target not only economic development but also peace- and democracy-building efforts.
"Follow-up mechanisms will be put in place to ensure the pledges on behalf of Mali bear fruit," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
The United Nations Security Council approved a new peacekeeping force for Mali that is expected to take over July 1 from an African-led force now in the country. Many of those African troops will become part of the U.N. mission.
The Security Council resolution includes a one-year authorization with up to 11,200 military personnel and 1,440 international police.

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs