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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More