The European Union today approved €20 million financial aid from the stabilization support package for Mali. The financial assistance that is the first tranche under the Instrument for Stability (IfS) will be used to support Mali’s law enforcement and justice services, the Malian local authorities, dialogue and reconciliation initiatives and the first phases of the upcoming electoral process. EU Member State agencies and other partners, including the UNDP and civil society organizations will work in order to achieve positive results for the country.
As EU High Representative Catherine Ashton stated: “This first stabilisation support package is yet another contribution from the EU to assist Mali to fully restore State authority and stability. It will also help the Malian people through support for the restoration of basic State services. In the coming weeks, the EU will take further decisions to contribute to international efforts in support of Mali and to help the Malian Government and people achieve long term stability, security and development.”
The IfS stabilisation support package includes five main components: support for the restoration of security and protection of civilians through urgently required equipment, support to Malian local authorities to re-establish the presence of the State throughout the country, promotion of dialogue, reconciliation initiatives and support for efforts to reduce radicalisation and violent extremism, contribution to the first phases of the electoral process and finally, technical assistance to support local authorities in their efforts to stabilize Mali.
Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs announced on 12 February the overall aid to Mali will amount to some €250 million.
According to Reuters, presidential election in Mali will take place on July 7, while legislative elections will be held on July 21. These elections are critical to some Western governments, including the United States and Canada, and to some African governments.