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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    05/15/2013 17:05 GMT

    BRUXELLES, 15 mai 2013 (AFP) - Une conférence de pays donateurs a mobilisé mercredi à Bruxelles environ 3,25 milliards d'euros pour aider le Mali à relancer son économie et ses institutions après la guerre, a annoncé le président français François Hollande.

    "Plus de 3,250 milliards d'euros ont pu être mobilisés à l'occasion de cette conférence", a déclaré M. Hollande en clôture de la réunion.

    Ce montant est supérieur aux objectifs des organisateurs de la conférence - l'Union européenne, la France et le Mali- qui ambitionnaient de lever 1,96 milliard d'euros, soit 45% du budget de 4,34 milliards du Plan pour la relance durable du Mali 2013-2014.

    Le président malien, Diouncouda Traoré, a chaleureusement remercié les 108 pays et institutions ayant participé à la conférence. "Nous sommes tous ensemble pour la reconstruction du Mali. Tous ensemble pour la relance du Mali", s'est-il félicité.

    M. Hollande a souligné qu'il revenait désormais "aux Maliens de respecter les engagements pour la réconciliation, pour la sécurité, pour l'Etat de droit et pour la bonne gouvernance". "C'est un contrat que nous passons ensemble, un beau contrat", a-t-il ajouté.

    La contribution des pays donateurs doit permettre aux autorités de Bamako de financer le Plan pour la Relance durable du Mali (PRED), destiné à remettre en marche le pays sur deux ans (2013-1014). L'essentiel du financement de ce plan, évalué à 4,34 milliards d'euros, doit être assuré par le budget interne malien.

    Parmi les principales institutions contributrices, figurent l'Union européenne (520 millions d'euros sur deux ans), la Banque Mondiale (250) ou la Banque islamique d'Investissement (250).

    L'aide de la France s'élève à 280 millions d'euros sur deux ans, a annoncé M. Hollande, qui l'a qualifiée d'"effort important à un moment où nous connaissons des difficultés financières".

    Les Etats-Unis ont promis 367 millions de dollars, le Royaume Uni et le Danemark 150 millions d'euros chacun et l'Allemagne 100 millions, selon des sources diplomatiques.

    Ces montants seront déboursés sous forme de dons ou de prêts. Une partie des sommes représente le déblocage de montants qui avaient été gelés après le coup d'Etat du 22 mars 2012 à Bamako, condamné par la communauté internationale.

    "Cette conférence des donateurs n'est pas un objectif final mais elle n'est qu'un point d'étape pour la reconstruction d'un pays qui se déroulera sur plusieurs années et nécessitera un soutien à long terme de la France et de la communauté internationale", a commenté Friederike Roder, responsable de l'ONG One dans un communiqué.

    jri/aje/jmc


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    Source: The Global Fund
    Country: Mali

    BRUSSELS - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced on Wednesday that it has finalized two new grant agreements wth Mali for malaria and TB, worth a total of EUR50 million, which will significantly improve access to health services and deliver treatment to tens of thousands of people.

    The announcement was made at a high-level donor conference in Brussels, co-chaired by France, the European Union and Mali, to discuss and coordinate international efforts to provide aid for Mali following recent military and political uncertainty in the country.

    The malaria grant for EUR 43 million was signed with Population Services International and a EUR 7 million TB grant will shortly be signed with Catholic Relief Services .

    "I would like to reiterate the Global Fund's commitment to remaining in Mali in order to serve that country's populations," Lelio Marmora, The Global Fund's head of Africa and the Middle East, told the conference. "The commitment and good governance of the Malian government will be crucial to the success of these programs.".

    Marmora expressed his gratitude to French and Malian civil society organizations, and international organizations, "whose actions and efforts have contributed a great deal to achieving these results. " France is the largest European donor to the Global Fund and the second largest overall.

    The two new grants follow the signing in November, 2012, of a Global Fund grant agreement with the United Nations Development Program to resume full-scale HIV screening, prevention and treatment in Mali, worth EUR58 million, together with the United Nations Development Program. Some 50,000 people in Mali are currently living with HIV.

    All grant programs, which have a life span of two to three years, will provide improved diagnostic capabilities. This will make it possible to provide greater numbers of patients with antiretroviral and anti-malaria treatment, and to prevent malaria through distribution of insecticide-treated nets.

    The two new grants will allow the distribution of 4.9 million nets, the purchase of 4 million malaria treatments and the treatment of 15,000 tuberculosis patients.

    All the new grants incorporate stringent safeguard measures taken by the Global Fund and its partners after mismanagement of funds was discovered in 2010. Instead of pulling out of Mali, with its extreme poverty and high disease burden, the Global Fund decided instead to stay and take the necessary mitigation measures to continue support for essential services.

    The Global Fund has been funding programs in Mali since December 2003.

    The Global Fund is an international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. The Global Fund promotes partnerships between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities, the most effective way to help reach those in need. This innovative approach relies on country ownership and performance-based funding, meaning that people in countries implement their own programs based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing where verifiable results are achieved.

    Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has supported more than 1,000 programs in 151 countries, providing AIDS treatment for 4.2 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 9.7 million people and 310 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

    Information on the work of the Global Fund is available at www.theglobalfund.org

    Follow the Global Fund on Twitter: http://twitter.com/globalfundnews
    Join the Global Fund on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theglobalfund

    For more information please contact:

    Andrew Hurst
    Media Relations Manager
    Mobile: +41 79 561 6807
    E-mail: andrew.hurst@theglobalfund.org


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    15 May 2013 – The United Nations is committed to ensuring a stable and prosperous future for Mali, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to a meeting in Brussels devoted to restoring the West African nation to the path of peace and security, good governance and long-term development.

    “Addressing the crisis in Mali goes beyond addressing security threats. It will require tackling deep-rooted political, social and development challenges,” Mr. Ban told the High-level Conference on Support and Development of Mali, in a message delivered by Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

    “Mali’s leaders must work together in the framework of an inclusive national dialogue with the common goals of re-establishing the legitimacy and full authority of the Malian State across its entire territory; providing security and basic services for the population, and ensuring that Mali’s territory is not used as a platform for the further emergence of extremism, terrorism and other threats to its neighbours and itself,” he added.

    The conference was organized by the Governments of France and Mali as well as the European Commission to better coordinate international support as Mali emerges from its recent crisis.

    Northern Mali was occupied by radical Islamists after fighting broke out in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels. The conflict uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Malian Government to request assistance from France to stop the military advance of extremist groups.

    While security has greatly improved following the actions of French and African military forces which helped push Islamists and other militants out of the cities they had seized, much remains to be done to restore Mali’s constitutional order and territorial integrity. While military operations and stabilization are essential, the UN has consistently stated that political progress is the key to any lasting solution.

    Last month the Security Council approved a 12,600-strong UN peacekeeping operation to take over from the African-led mission in Mali on 1 July. The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is tasked with supporting the political process in the country, in close coordination with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

    The Mission will help the Malian authorities to implement the transitional roadmap towards the full restoration of constitutional order, democratic governance and national unity. This includes the holding of elections in July, confidence-building and facilitation of reconciliation at the national and local levels.

    Mr. Ban noted that the upcoming establishment of MINUSMA demonstrates the commitment of the international community to help Mali lay the foundations for durable peace and security.

    “We count on our Malian partners to use this opportunity to promote a sustainable and inclusive political process that will lead to improved governance, including elections – for which resources need to be mobilized – national cohesion and reconciliation, and long-term development.

    To support the Government’s efforts, the UN in Mali has prepared the Joint UN Framework to Support the Transition, which defines the collective and integrated response of the world body to the Government’s priorities.

    The Joint Framework is aligned with the Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali, which contains 12 priorities reflecting the commitment of Mali’s authorities to restore territorial integrity, promote inclusive growth and restore the country to the path of peace and security, good governance and development.

    The Framework targets the restoration of good governance and sustainable peace while supporting access to basic social services, noted the Secretary-General. It is also part of the broader UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, which will soon be presented to the Security Council and offers a coordinated response to the complex issues facing the region.

    Mr. Ban added that, in considering Mali’s challenges, it is important not to overlook immediate humanitarian needs, which are still considerable and require urgent attention. “We must also focus greater attention on gender issues and the needs of women in Mali, and on resilience to economic and climatic shocks,” he said.

    “I count on the international community to provide coordinated support to the Government of Mali, and I commend the efforts of ECOWAS Member States and other African nations in contributing to ending the Mali crisis and other crises in the region,” he stated. “Enduring peace and prosperity needs solidarity among neighbours.”


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    Source: European Union
    Country: Mali
    preview



    In 2012 Mali underwent one of the most serious crises in its history since independence. The crisis, involving the occupation of part of Mali by terrorist groups, and largescale abuses against the civilian population, plus a military coup followed by the opening of a period of transition towards a full return to constitutional order, has had major humanitarian and economic consequences. Against this backdrop, Mali showed its resilience and its determination to examine the deeper causes of the crisis in order to find sustainable solutions. Mali also had the crucial support of the international community, in particular France, Chad and the African nations and organisations involved in the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA), which helped restore the unity and stability of the country. The United Nations will shortly deploy a stabilisation mission which will build on the work done in particular by the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. The return to stability opens up a political space for Mali within which a national dialogue will help bring about reconciliation; new foundations will be laid for initiating a comprehensive reform of public governance, establishing a new decentralisation policy and creating the conditions for sustainable economic and social development. The EU made a prompt and substantial contribution to this process of political transition, restoration of stability, and relaunching of development, and is determined to continue its efforts to aid Mali.

    The crisis Mali is currently undergoing is not economic and is not linked solely to external factors: it has revealed the fragility of the country's institutions and its governance problems, in particular corruption, which has resulted in a loss of credibility of the State institutions in the eyes of its citizens. It has shown the need for a public debate within Mali on the main political issues and the economic and social development challenges facing the country.

    This crisis has not yet been fully resolved, in terms of a full return to constitutional order by free, inclusive and transparent elections, the process of dialogue and national reconciliation, or the restoration of the State’s authority throughout the country. Against this background, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the President of France, François Hollande, and the President of the Republic of Mali, Dioncounda Traoré, have taken the joint initiative of holding a high-level Donor Conference for Development in Mali, so that Mali can present its Sustainable Recovery Plan (PRED) for 2013-2014 and request the support of the international community in financing it. The conference is based on the principle that there is no development without security but also no security without development.

    The conference participants welcomed the adoption of the Transition Roadmap on 29 January 2013, all aspects of which they support. Its implementation constitutes a precondition for resuming normal international aid to Mali. They also welcomed UN Security Council Resolution 2100 of 25 April 2013, which opens up encouraging prospects for the stabilisation of Mali and for its development.

    The conference 'Together for a New Mali' considers that Mali does not need to be rebuilt because its administration withstood the consequences of the political and security crisis and the country was able to adjust its macroeconomic policy to the crisis situation. But the State institutions and governance practices need to be thoroughly overhauled in order to ensure sustainable development.

    Mali bears the responsibility for this reform, but the support of the international community is needed and be ready to put into action.


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    Source: UN Radio
    Country: Mali, Niger

    La période de soudure correspondant aux mois de juin à août dans le Sahel est toujours une source de préoccupation pour les organismes humanitaires. Et une enquête sur la base du suivi mensuel de la situation alimentaire du SAP, réalisée en mars 2013, révèle que la situation est critique dans 13 zones du Niger. Ainsi, 800 000 personnes se trouvent en insécurité alimentaire et dans ce lot, 84000 personnes sont en insécurité alimentaire critique. N'ayant plus de réserve alimentaire, ces populations vulnérables ont besoin d'une assistance immédiate.

    Le dernier bulletin humanitaire d'OCHA datée du 9 mai 2013 note que cette situation critique se caractérise par une hausse des prix des céréales au Niger, mais aussi par une consommation d'aliments de pénurie et par la constitution par des commerçants usuriers de stocks alimentaires sur les marchés. A cela s'ajoutent la baisse des revenus tirés de la vente des produits de contre-saison (oignon, tomate, pomme de terre), et des problèmes de ravitaillement en vivres des marchés dans certaines zones dont Danat (Arlit) ; Dogon Kiria (Doutchi) ; Maijirgui (Tessaoua) ; Tabokati (Bouza) ; Ourno (Madaoua) ; Barmou (Tahoua) ; Bankilaré (Bankiré) ; Gorouol (Tillabéry) ; Garagoumsa-Tirmini (Takiéta) ; Falenco (Tanout).

    Dans ces conditions, Niamey a mis en place un plan de soutien du gouvernement qui prévoit des mesures d'atténuation pour répondre à cette situation. Ainsi, l'Office des produits vivriers du Niger (OPVN) a déjà démarré pour la région d'Agadez l'opération de «vente de céréales à prix modérés », et la même opération devrait démarrer incessamment dans les autres zones du pays. D'autres mesures sont également en train d'être mises en place, telles que des opérations de cash transfert et la mise à disposition de semences améliorées pour les populations.

    Par ailleurs, le Niger a dû faire face à la crise qui a touché le Mali voisin en accueillant près de 50.000 réfugiés maliens vivant dans des camps ou des campements de fortune. Le PAM a conduit une évaluation dans trois camps à Abada, Mangayizé et Tabaraberey. Il se trouve que le taux de malnutrition aigue des enfants de moins de 6 ans, dépasse le seuil d'urgence qui est de 15%. Dans ces conditions, le PAM assiste une moyenne de 45.000 réfugiés par mois, avec de la nourriture et des suppléments alimentaires pour les enfants.

    (Extrait sonore : Elisabeth Byrs, porte-parole du PAM à Genève ; propos recueillis par Alpha Diallo)


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    Source: African Development Bank
    Country: Mali

    Le groupe de la Banque africaine de développement (BAD), s’est engagé à Bruxelles, par la voix de son président, Donald Kaberuka, à soutenir les efforts de sortie de crise et de relance de l’économie malienne en mettant à la disposition du pays 240 millions d’euros. C’était à l’occasion de la Conférence des donateurs du Mali organisée par la France et l’Union Européenne en Belgique.

    Dans l’immédiat, cette assistance, accordée via le Fonds africain de développement (FAD) est dévolue à quatre domaines : l’appui budgétaire, l’appui spécifique à la gouvernance économique afin de renforcer les capacités de l’administration, l’appui visant à restaurer les services sociaux de base fortement dégradés -en particulier ceux de la santé et de l’éducation- sur toute l’étendue du territoire et en particulier au Nord du pays, et la relance du secteur privé grâce au soutien apporté à la réduction de la dette.

    La BAD financera aussi la réalisation du Projet d’alimentation en eau potable de la ville de Bamako, à hauteur de 56 millions d’euros, soit près de 37 milliards de FCFA. Un projet qui s’avère d’une extrême urgence en raison des besoins pressants induits par les nombreux déplacements des populations ayant fui la guerre au Nord du Pays. D’autres interventions iront au soutien à l’agriculture et la sécurité alimentaire dans les régions de Koulikoro, Sikasso et Ségou pour un programme chiffré à 35 millions d’euros, soit 23 milliards de FCFA.

    Au cours de son intervention, le Président de la première institution financière africaine s’est félicité de la mobilisation autour du relèvement Mali : « Cette conférence est la preuve que, ensemble et de manière coordonnée, nous pouvons trouver une partie des solutions dont le Mali et la région sahélienne ont besoin pour sortir définitivement de la fragilité et de l’instabilité ».


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    Source: UN Women
    Country: Mali

    15 May 2013, Brussels – At the international donors’ conference for Mali, taking place in Brussels today, co-chaired by the European Union and France, Malian women will present recommendations calling for greater participation by women in the conflict resolution and rebuilding of the economy.

    “We are placing huge importance on this donors’ conference. All our hopes are centred on its deliberations on 15 May. We want attention to be given to our recommendations from the last Brussels meeting, when over 40 women from the Sahel came together at the initiative of Ms. Ashton, Mr. Prodi and Ms. Puri,” said Aziza Mint Mohamed, Deputy Mayor of the city of Timbuktu in Mali.

    “We hope that the final document will have the political endorsement of the Government and be supported by technical and financial partners. We are also aware of what is at stake, and of the challenges that Mali presents in the Sahel region, in Africa and in the world,” she added.

    Ms. Mint Mohamed and Aïssata Lam, founder of the Youth Chamber of Commerce of Mauritania, are attending the Brussels donor conference in order to appeal to the international community and convey their recommendations, which were drafted by women’s groups and civil society during a series of consultations, supported by UN Women.

    The process began with the Conference on Women’s Leadership which took place on 9 April, when over 40 women from the Sahel came to Brussels in order to draw attention to the importance of the contribution of women in conflict resolution. Once back in Mali, women met again and on 26 April they drafted the recommendations read out today, which call for:

    1 . For a fairer and more equitable Mali, the Malian Government and international partners must promote women’s representation in decision-making bodies, especially in elected and appointed posts. Currently, women represent only 10 per cent of parliamentarians, a long way from the critical 30 per cent threshold, and from equal representation

    2 . For lasting peace in Mali and in the Sahel region, promotion of women’s rights and care services for women and girls who are survivors of gender-based violence, especially as a result of the conflict in Mali, is urgently needed.

    3 . To ensure more effective contribution to economic development, and to combat the food crisis in Mali, women’s access to resources and the economic independence of women is needed, through promoting women’s business skills and their access to markets and credit, especially in rural areas.

    4 . The Government and international partners must encourage women’s full participation in the conflict-resolution process, at local and national levels.

    5 . Improvements to the quality of public services, and also women’s access to and participation in those services, including schooling for girls, access to healthcare, justice, internal security and defence are urgently needed.

    6 . The inclusion of women’s priorities and strategic needs in plans and budgets is critical for reducing gender inequalities in the country. The recommendations call for 15 per cent of all support funds to be allocated to women’s specific actions.

    “Women are facing complex and multiple challenges. Only through the application and implementation of all of these recommendations will we be able to face these challenges together,” concluded Ms. Mint Mohamed.


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    Source: UN Women
    Country: Mali

    15 Mai, 2013, Bruxelles — A l’occasion de la Conférence des donateurs pour le Mali qui se tient à Bruxelles le 15 mai, co-présidée par l’Union européenne (UE) et la France, des femmes maliennes présentent leurs recommandations appelant à une plus grande participation dans la résolution du conflit et le redressement économique.

    « Nous accordons une importance capitale à cette conférence des donateurs et fondons tout notre espoir sur ses assises du 15 Mai et nous souhaitons la prise en compte de nos recommandations issues de la rencontre précédente de Bruxelles qui a regroupé plus de 40 femmes du Sahel à l’initiative de Mme. Ashton, M. Prodi et Mme. Puri», a déclaré Mme. Aziza Mint Mohamed, première maire adjointe de la ville de Tombouctou au Mali.

    « Nous espérons que le document final soit accompagné politiquement par le gouvernement et soutenu par les partenaires techniques et financiers. Nous sommes conscient aussi de l’enjeu et les défis que représentent le Mali dans la zone sahélo sahélienne, en Afrique et dans le monde », a-t-elle ajouté.

    Mme. Mint Mohamed et Aïssata Lam, initiatrice de la Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Mauritanie (JCCM), se sont rendues à la Conférence des donateurs pour le Mali afin d’adresser un appel à la communauté internationale. La déclaration a été produite par les groupes de femmes de la société civile lors d’une série de consultations soutenues par ONU Femmes.

    L’origine de cette déclaration provient des conclusions de la Conférence sur le leadership des femmes au Sahel qui s’est tenue le 9 avril dernier, où plus de 40 femmes du Sahel étaient venues à Bruxelles pour souligner l’importance de la contribution des femmes à la résolution du conflit. De retour au Mali, les participantes se sont à nouveau réunies et le 26 avril elles ont finalisé les recommandations lues aujourd’hui.

    Les principales demandes sont :

    1- La représentativité des femmes dans les instances de prise de décision, notamment aux postes électifs et nominatifs, doit être promue par le gouvernement du Mali et les partenaires internationaux si nous voulons bâtir un Mali plus juste et équitable. Aujourd’hui, les femmes représentent seulement 10 pour cent des parlementaires bien loin du seuil critique de 30 pour cent et de la parité.

    2- La promotion des droits des femmes et la prise en charge des femmes et filles victimes de violences basées sur le genre, doit être un élément central dans les actions visant à instaurer une paix durable au Mali et dans le Sahel.

    3- L’accès aux ressources et l’indépendance économique des femmes tout en promouvant les compétences entrepreneuriales des femmes, leurs accès aux marchés, aux crédits, en particulier dans les zones rurales doivent être assurés pour une meilleure contribution au développement économique et la lutte contre la crise alimentaire au Mali.

    4- La pleine participation des femmes dans le processus de résolution des conflits aux niveaux communautaire et national doit être encouragée par le gouvernement et les partenaires internationaux.

    5- L’amélioration de la qualité mais aussi l’accès et la participation des femmes aux services publics sont nécessaires – y compris la scolarisation des filles, la santé, la justice et la sécurité intérieure.

    6- La prise en compte des besoins prioritaires et stratégiques des femmes dans les plans et budgets sera déterminante pour la réduction des inégalités de genre dans le pays. Les femmes demandent l’octroi à hauteur de 15 pour cent de tous les fonds de soutien pour leurs actions concernant le processus de sortie de crise.

    « Les femmes sont confrontées à des défis complexes et multiples. Seules l’application et la mise en œuvre de toutes ses recommandations permettrons de relever ces défis ensembles », a conclu Mme. Mint Mohamed.


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    Source: Government of France
    Country: France, Mali

    Treize chefs d’Etat et cent sept délégations ont participé hier à la conférence des donateurs pour réaffirmer leur soutien au peuple malien et leur appui au Plan pour la relance durable adopté par les autorités maliennes.

    La France s’est engagée à verser 280 millions d’euros à titre bilatéral, en plus de sa contribution à titre multilatéral. Nous participerons notamment à hauteur de 20 % à l’aide de l’Union européenne, d’un montant de 520 millions d’euros.

    Au total, des promesses d’aide d’un montant de 3,2 milliards d’euros ont été confirmées par les pays participants.

    Des mécanismes de transparence et de suivi ont été mis en place. Comme l’a indiqué le ministre des affaires étrangères le 14 mai, le versement des aides ira de pair avec les avancées du processus de dialogue et de réconciliation.

    Ce haut niveau de participation et de contribution constitue un succès pour cette conférence qui doit permettre d’assurer une sortie durable de crise du Mali.


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    Source: Government of Belgium
    Country: Belgium, Mali

    In the context of the donor conference for Mali taking place in Brussels today, Minister for Development Cooperation Jean-Pascal Labille stated that Belgium would actively support the recovery process in Mali. To this end, Belgium will provide a financial contribution of EUR 17.3 million in 2013 and EUR 14.2 million in 2014.

    For Jean-Pascal Labille, this support illustrates our country’s solidarity with the Malian people, who are currently experiencing a very dark time in their country’s history.

    The structural vulnerability of the Malian population has now reached an unacceptable level. Nearly 500,000 residents have been forced to leave their homes, basic services are insufficient, and the food situation is growing worse by the day. According to the Minister for Development Cooperation, “it is our duty to assist the Malian people, just as we are coming to the aid of those in eastern Congo and Syria”.

    In order to get the Malian economy back on its feet, Belgium will adapt part of its development programme to efficiently contribute to the “Plan for the sustainable recovery of Mali”.

    However, this answer to humanitarian needs and immediate action will not be sufficient to definitively rid Mali of instability. A longer-term commitment is essential to achieving this objective, and in this regard it is necessary to be able to count on a stable and democratic partner. Belgium will therefore support the electoral process that will be completed sometime this summer. Jean-Pascal Labille is of the opinion that the restoration of the Malian people’s trust can best be obtained by building a strong, legitimate institution that represents the people of Mali in all their diversity.


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    Source: Government of Nigeria
    Country: Mali, Nigeria

    The Federal Government of Nigeria has pledged more financial aid to war-torn Mali to help rebuild the country after months of conflict.

    Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, made this pledge in Brussels at the International Donors Conference on the Development of Mali organized by the European Union and the Mali’s transitional government.

    The Vice president, who represented Mr. President at the event, stated that Nigeria has remained committed to the restoration of peace and order to the war-torn country and has continued to provide material and financial support to the achievement of that noble objective.

    Arc Sambo who acknowledged that reconstruction of post-conflict Mali requires strong international support, however called for need for identifying the root causes of the crisis and to take into cognizance the diversity of the Malian society. He pledged Nigeria’s commitment to the restoration of peace in country. “We are committed to supporting a comprehensive integration of Northern Mali through inclusive consultations and dialogue that would create opportunity for the socio-economic development for the benefit of all Malians”; said the Vice President.

    The Vice President specially thanked President Francois Hollande of France for his intervention in Mali and called for his continued support for the maintenance of the territorial integrity and development of the country. He also thanked the Mr. Dicouda Traore the head of the transitional government of Mali for sharing the country’s vision as reflected in the strategic plan for 2013-2014, and lauded the collaborative efforts of the ECOWAS, the European Union and the United Nations towards restoration of peace in the nation.

    Since the commencement of the Malian crises in 2012, Nigeria has so far committed over USD$45Million in humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation, administration and maintenance of military operations for the restoration of peace in the country.

    The conference is aimed at offering financial and logistic support to Mali’s government in order to rebuild the post war country under a comprehensive development strategic plan. It includes rebuilding government institutions and the military, repairing damaged infrastructure, organising presidential elections, holding dialogue with rebel groups in the north, and stimulating the economy.

    At the conference, Nigeria has pledged the sum of two million US dollars to be devoted to supporting agricultural development and the elections that were due to hold later this year in the country.


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    Source: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    One year after the food crisis and the takeover of northern territories of the country by armed groups in Mali, the humanitarian situation is critical and its effects are making themselves felt throughout the region. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has been in the country for 35 years, and has had to adapt to these successive crises. Since mid-February 2013, Lucas Riegger, a member of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit, has been providing support for the activities of the SDC’s Cooperation Office (Coof). He was previously based in Dakar, Senegal, on secondment for humanitarian aid to the World Food Programme (WFP).

    For over a year now, Mali has been immersed in one of the most difficult periods in its history. Can you describe the situation for us?

    At the present time, there are more than 450,000 people scattered across southern Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso who have fled from their homelands. The situation of most of them remains extremely difficult. Meanwhile, the economic outlook for the country is not very encouraging. Governance is weak, and there is also reconstruction work to be done following the invasion by armed groups, and consequent lessons to be learned. The rainy season is approaching. It will be decisive for the relaunch of the country’s agricultural activity. Elections are also to be held soon, and it is to be hoped that these will serve as a lever for national reconciliation. For the moment, it is vital to ensure that no new food crisis comes to compound the current political crisis.

    What is the SDC doing to help the people in general?

    Most of its development programmes have had to be suspended in the north, due to the prevailing insecurity. At the moment, the SDC is therefore investing massively and “multilaterallyˮ, supporting its humanitarian partners such as the HCR, the WFP, UNICEF, the OCHA (with a total of CHF 14.5 million) and the ICRC, an essential player due to its capacity to continue its humanitarian operations in the north (at CHF 8.25 million). These partners are mandated to provide essential services to the populations displaced by the insecurity prevailing in the north of Mali. The SDC has also strengthened its team in Mali with staff specialising in emergency action and with two water and sanitation engineers to back up the HCR in Niger.

    In addition, at the time of the food and nutrition crisis in 2012, Switzerland injected considerable funds into the Sahel region via UN humanitarian agencies (CHF 21.15 million in total, 18.5 million of which for the WFP). Swiss and international NGOs were also supported for a total amount of CHF 470,000, while a contribution of CHF 0.5 million enabled Niger’s National Food Crisis Prevention and Management System to step up its activities. Switzerland also provided dairy products valued at about CHF 1.5 million, channelled through Caritas.

    Access to the north of the country was extremely problematic for humanitarian organisations before the French military intervention. What is the situation like now?

    Immediately after the takeover of Northern Mali by the armed groups, access to that zone became impossible. But little by little, through negotiations, humanitarian organisations – and especially the ICRC – have managed to get aid through despite all the restrictions imposed by the armed groups which are inspired by Salafi dogmas that are not necessarily compatible with the humanitarian principles we uphold. Nevertheless, the NGOs that have succeeded in gaining their trust have been able to keep offices open in the north of the country, provided these are not headed by Westerners – but by African Catholics, why not?

    The SDC has given aid in the amount of CHF 0.5 million to humanitarian flights carried out by the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), without which it would be very difficult for humanitarian agencies to operate. Indeed, these air links are a way to avoid the numerous obstacles (criminal activity – mainly in the form of hold-ups and kidnappings – terrorism and... distance: it takes two whole days to reach Timbuktu by road) separating Bamako and the towns of the North.

    You have already visited the Northern Mali zone yourself. What were your impressions?

    I’ve been once to Mopti, which is more in the centre, and I intend to return there shortly to talk to our partners in the field. The town of Mopti itself is quite safe, but as soon as you leave the outskirts, security quickly becomes more chancy. I would also like to go to Timbuktu soon to assess the possibility for the SDC to resume its development work there.

    When you talk to people between Bamako and Mopti, you feel their immense relief since the withdrawal of the armed groups. In Mopti, people in the street told me that if the armed groups had not withdrawn, they would have been forced to wear beards, shorten their trousers and adopt an obscure life of orthodoxy.

    With regard to the crisis in Mali, what is your role as regional humanitarian affairs officer? What do your everyday activities involve?

    My principal role is the regional coordination of the humanitarian activities of the SDC, primarily in Mali, and secondarily in the neighbouring Sahel countries (Niger and Burkina Faso). For example, I monitor the thematic platforms that meet every two weeks. They bring together NGOs, government representatives and United Nations agencies and provide for the sharing of information for coordinating action and deciding on joint strategies in the areas of shelter, logistics, food and water safety, hygiene and sanitation, protection, etc. Food safety and protection are our two first priorities. The SDC has just provided a Swiss architect to coordinate the “Shelterˮ sector group in Bamako. It has also sent two water and sanitation engineers on secondment to Niger’s HCR.

    When the school year comes to an end and the agricultural season approaches, we expect many internal displaced persons to go back to their lands in the centre and north of Mali. These people will arrive in an environment which will undoubtedly have changed greatly. They may come across unexploded shells and rockets in their courtyards or fields, so it is important to pursue programmes which concentrate not only on economic and social revival, but also on raising awareness among these civilians of the dangers that they face.

    One of my present tasks is to design activities that can facilitate the always delicate transition from emergency aid to the development programmes that will one day resume in Mali.

    While we’re on the subject, how are the programmes of the SDC’s Cooperation Office faring?

    Most of the development programmes in the north are still suspended. At present, the people are no longer receiving development-oriented aid, but mainly emergency aid aimed at saving lives, such as distributions of food, the provision of care services or the repair of wells in zones that have serious problems but are still accessible. This aid, which is partly financed by the Confederation, is provided by the ICRC, the UN agencies and international NGOs devoted to emergency situations. Once security is re-established, this emergency aid will be replaced by development activities. But before that can happen, the infrastructures (water sources, schools, roads, markets) and institutions will have to be restored to a functional state with their nurses, teachers, civil servants, technical advisors in agriculture or stock-breeding, etc.

    The instability reigning in the country has forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave Mali for the neighbouring countries. How do you assess the situation of Malian refugees in these countries?

    Médecins sans frontières (Doctors without Borders), which is present in the camps set up in Mauritania, recently launched an appeal for aid. The refugees are in more or less precarious situations, depending on which zone they are in. But in any case, although refugee status may be “preferableˮ, it is never “enviableˮ.

    What about the internal displaced populations?

    Most of the internal refugees are members of settled populations who have travelled south to escape from the armed groups: agropastoralists, traders and government officials. On reaching their destination, these internal refugees have not found any organised assistance intended specifically for them. They are often in the homes of relations or friends, hoping to only stay there temporarily. Unfortunately, they have now been in this situation for almost a year and a half. What complicates things even further is that aid is still very limited in their case. Furthermore, as they are scattered among host families, it is often very difficult to locate them, despite all the efforts by the municipal and public authorities in southern Mali to make contact with them. Financial aid and food distribution to meet the needs of these internal displaced persons have been sporadic.

    Thus southern Mali is in the throes of an economic crisis triggered by events and made worse by a financial embargo that has been in force since the coup. Some international payments have been frozen, with serious repercussions on economic activity and the job market. The arrival of internal refugees has added to the difficulties of people for whom survival was already difficult. Lastly, the current period is not very conducive to trade or livestock breeding, due to the armed groups that are maintaining a climate of insecurity. This lack of security impedes the migration of cattle to the south in search of pasture, causing a geographical concentration of the herds. This naturally does nothing to improve the perennial problem of cohabitation between the settled populations and the nomads of the Sahel, which is further exacerbated by the demographic explosion.

    Early in 2012, Mali suffered a period of drought, with serious consequences for food security. How does the situation look in 2013?

    This food crisis, caused by the poor harvest in 2011, has had repercussions which are still being felt today in the form of debt plaguing the more vulnerable households. In contrast, the harvest in 2012 was quite good, and in most cases, the rebels have not stopped people from cultivating their fields. This means that grains and other foodstuffs are still plentiful in the markets close to the producing zones, but these stocks will diminish as the lean season advances. The further north you go, the fewer resources there are to be found: in Kidal, for example, average rainfall is 100mm per year, and agricultural production there is negligible. The population has thus turned to other means of subsistence, such as trading and pastoralism. The closure of borders has severely disrupted access to means of sustenance and it is difficult to bring products to the markets. All these factors tend to have an impact on food security and engender malnutrition.

    It is also important to note that prices of foodstuffs, which depend on fuel prices, are high throughout the country, as transport is forced to keep clear of the high-risk zones, concentrating demand in certain zones. The general rise in prices can also be explained by demographic factors: even when the harvest is good, it is not sufficient to feed a population that has been growing constantly from year to year.

    What is the situation in Bamako? What effect is the instability in the north having on the daily life of people living in the capital?

    In Bamako, the population density in the poorer neighbourhoods has increased with the arrival of the internal refugees, causing overcrowding that is not conducive to sanitation and hygiene. The government officials among these displaced persons will return to their homes in the north when their offices in government institutions that were damaged or destroyed during the occupation by the armed groups have been rebuilt. Here again, although rebuilding is scheduled, insecurity limits the work undertaken. Fortunately, most government officials are still receiving their salaries. Even if the amount is modest, it enables them to survive.

    And what about you? What is your life in Bamako like?

    Bamako is a city that has been developing in a completely unregulated manner, but it is not an unpleasant place to live in, thanks to the vegetation that softens the rigour of the climate and the kindness of the Malians. Although there are frequent traffic jams, one can usually get to meetings on the other side of the town without arriving unreasonably late! My mission here is an interesting challenge: Mali is not a territory that is completely foreign to me, but there is always something new to learn, whatever the context. The Cooperation Office team is very nice. It’s a closely-knit group that has done a great deal to help me settle in, guide me and that, in its enlightened and philanthropic daily operations, devotes all of its energies to supporting Mali!


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)
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    Food security levels are generally better than a year earlier in East Africa and the Sahel, with most areas facing either IPC phase 1 ‘minimal’ or phase 2 ‘stressed’ conditions, thanks to favorable agro-climatic conditions in 2012.

    • Due to high levels of insecurity, pockets of IPC phase 4 ‘emergency’ food security conditions persist in areas of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, and in local areas in northern Mali. Parts of Mindanao province in the Philippines will also face phase 4 ‘emergency’ conditions, following the impacts of Typhoon Bopha. IPC phase 3 ‘crisis’ food insecurity prevails in parts of Haiti due to weather-related shocks in 2012.

    • The escalating conflict in Syria continues to lead to displacement and re-displacement of people.
    According to UNHCR, 4.25 million people are displaced and some 1.38 million people have fled to neighboring countries. Inside Syria, the food security situation is worsening; OCHA estimates that 6.8 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance. The surge in refugee numbers is stretching host government capacity in Jordan and Lebanon.
    The conflict is also disrupting agricultural markets and trade in neighboring countries.

    • Renewed conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region and in the Central African Republic has caused new population displacement. Dryness and conflict are causing deterioration in food security conditions in parts of Myanmar.

    • High wheat prices are undermining poor household’s food access in Afghanistan, India, Kyrgyz Republic and Pakistan. As the lean season approaches, unusually high coarse grain prices are eroding pastoralist terms of trade in Niger.

    • Coffee rust and lower coffee export prices are undermining rural employment in Guatemala and Honduras, impacting food access for households that rely on casual labor.

    • Severe flooding in Colombia and Peru has caused displacement and damage to crops.

    • Drought in parts of southern Africa has impacted crop development and may drive food price increases in the region.


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    Source: Inter Press Service
    Country: Mali

    BRUSSELS, May 16 2013 (IPS) - International donors pledged yesterday to mobilise 3.25 billion Euros to rebuild Mali, a figure that surpassed all expectations. But experts warn that the country does not have the absorption capacity for so much aid, while others say donors should pressure the Malian government to stop ongoing human rights abuses.

    In January of this year, a French-led intervention ended more than a year of sectarian violence in the north of Mali. The intervention managed to stall the conflict, but the situation in the region remains tense.

    More than 467,000 people, around one third of the population in the north, are currently displaced, and the United Nations announced on Tuesday that it needs at least 222 million Euros to address immediate food and other humanitarian needs.

    Northern Mali is also facing its second food crisis in two years, the country’s economy is in decline, and over the last year it fell to one of the five poorest countries in the world, according to the United Nations (U.N.) Human Development Index.

    The 3.25 billion Euros were pledged by the international community at a donor conference in Brussels yesterday for the reconstruction of this West African country. The high level meeting, organised by the European Union and France, together with Mali, welcomed 100 delegates from countries, regional organisations, U.N. agencies, EU member states and other development partners.

    Pledges were made on the basis of the “Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali, 2013-2014″, presented by the Malian government, which says that an amount of 4.343 billion Euros is needed to fully implement the plan.

    Aid agencies and non-governmental organisations were careful in welcoming the influx of aid, however. “These pledges need to be seen as a down payment and not a one-off cheque,” Marietou Diaby, Malian country director for the NGO Oxfam, said in a press release following the meeting.

    “Donors must now support a new development contract between the people of Mali and their government which tackles poverty, corruption and inequality – issues that lie at the heart of the crisis,” Diaby noted, adding that crises such as Afghanistan and Somalia show that winning a military conflict is never enough to achieve sustainable peace and security.

    EU officials in the field have also expressed concern about the enormous amount of money about to flow into a country that is not yet ready for it. According to one official, who requested anonymity, “The country does not have the absorption capacity yet. Other issues have to be dealt with first.”

    “Donors want to move quickly, get the country back on its feet and show results as quickly as possible,” Tidhar Wald, EU conflict and humanitarian policy advisor at Oxfam Brussels, explained.

    “But if we inject this amount of money, without proper guarantees in terms of sources management and transparency, into a country that is poorly governed, services are not functioning and some parts of society are benefiting more than others, the situation will hardly get any better,” Wald cautioned.

    Just ahead of yesterday’s high-level meeting, Oxfam published a report stressing the need for smart development aid. “The Brussels meeting was intended to bring Mali back to normal,” Wald told IPS, “but even before the rebellion in the north started, Mali was in a crisis.”

    “Its society has been eroding for decades because of previous ethnic conflicts, corruption, lack of transparency and other governance issues,” he described. “There needs to be a new contract between the Malian government and its people. The reconstruction plan needs to be inclusive; all Malians should benefit from it.”

    “We have to make sure that the government is made accountable to its people, that people can influence decision making, that civil society is part of the decision-making process,” Wald concluded.

    According to Oxfam’s report, donors should commit to providing aid at least for the next 15 years, the amount of time needed to successfully undertake necessary government reforms and tackle the root causes of poverty. This time frame, however, stands in stark contrast with the two years mentioned in the Malian government’s reconstruction plan.

    Other experts also point to the fact the conflict in Mali is not over yet and human rights violations persist. On Tuesday, Amnesty International accused government forces of carrying out extrajudicial executions in the north. Islamic militants have been reported recruiting child soldiers and killing civilians and wounding government soldiers.

    U.N. officials, meanwhile, have expressed grave concern about retaliatory attacks against Tuared and Arab communities in the north after government troops retook towns held by Islamic rebels. As a result, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch urge donors to pressure the Malian government to end to human rights abuses in the country.


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    Source: African Development Bank
    Country: Mali

    The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) through its President, Donald Kaberuka, declared in Brussels the Institution’s support to the crisis exit efforts and revival of Malian economy making available to this country the amount of 240 million euros. This declaration was made at the donors’ conference on Mali hosted by France and the European Union in Belgium.

    This assistance, granted through the African Development Fund (ADF) concerns four areas: budget support; specific assistance to economic governance for the capacity building of the administration, assistance to strengthen basic social services in an advanced state of disrepair- particularly in health and education in the country as a whole and especially in the north; and revival of the private sector through debt reduction.

    The AfDB will also fund the realization of the Bamako drinking water supply project to the tune of 56 million euros, or about 37 billion CFAF. This project is of utmost importance given the pressing needs of the many displaced populations fleeing the war in the northern regions. Other interventions will go towards agriculture and food security in the regions of Koulikoro, Sikasso and Ségou in the amount of 35 million euros, or 23 billion CFAF.

    In his declaration, the President of the premier African finance institution acknowledged the mobilization to the aid and assistance of Mali: « This conference is proof enough that together and hand in hand we can provide some of the solutions that Mali and the Sahel region need to do away once and for all with fragility and instability ».


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    Source: Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal
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    Ce document comprend trois parties pouvant être utilisées ensemble ou séparément. L'objectif visé par ce découpage est double:

    • permettre de décliner aisément des documents destinés à des publics différents notamment lors de la future phase de sensibilisation qui doit aboutir à son adoption ; éviter une approche trop pointue, notamment en ce qui concerne certains aspects statistiques que peuvent << rebuter >> ou lasser une partie du public destinataire.

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    Source: US Department of State
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, United States of America

    Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson
    Washington, DC
    May 16, 2013

    On May 15, 2013, at the Mali Donors’ Conference in Brussels, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg and Department of State Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Don Yamamoto reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Mali as the country returns to democracy, peace, and stability. Assistant Administrator Lindborg also announced that the United States is providing more than $32 million in additional humanitarian assistance to support Malians affected by the crisis.

    The new assistance builds on the significant ongoing commitment of the United States to address the crisis in Mali. Although over $188 million in assistance to Mali, mostly to the government, was either terminated or suspended after the coup, the United States has continued to provide over $7 million in democracy assistance programming, $83 million in health support, $4.8 million in peace and security assistance, $33.5 million in economic growth programming, and, with today’s commitment of $32 million, more than $180 million in humanitarian assistance to Mali and Malian refugees.

    This additional assistance will support the life-saving humanitarian work of UN agencies and non-governmental organizations in Mali and in neighboring countries. This includes essential protection and assistance through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, food assistance through the World Food Program, humanitarian logistics through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, and shelter, food security, and health through other international organizations and NGOs.

    Because the crisis in Mali is closely intertwined with regional dynamics we are also providing significant assistance to key partners in the Sahel region. Since fiscal year 2012, the United States is providing more than $550 million in humanitarian assistance to the Sahel, including this latest contribution. We are bringing our relief and development teams together for joint analysis and joint planning in support of efforts that build resilience to the region’s recurrent shocks.

    Since January of this year, conflict and insecurity have generated more than 175,000 Malian refugees and internally displaced more than 300,000 Malians. The United States recognizes the hospitality of all countries hosting Malian refugees, in particular the governments and people of Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger who have continued to keep their borders open to those fleeing the situation in Mali.

    For media inquiries or further information, please contact Deborah L. Sisbarro at sisbarrodl@state.gov or (202) 463-9339, or visit www.state.gov/j/prm.


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    16 mai 2013 – Le Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD) a salué les promesses de dons de 3,25 milliards d'euros pour financer le plan d'une relance durable du Mali et l'aider à sortir de la crise.

    Les promesses de fonds ont été formulées par les bailleurs internationaux lors d'une conférence de haut niveau pour le développement de ce pays, intitulée « Ensemble pour le renouveau du Mali », qui s'est tenue mercredi à Bruxelles. L'objectif poursuivi est de rétablir l'intégrité territoriale du Mali, de promouvoir la paix, la sécurité et la réconciliation et de jeter les bases d'une prospérité durable.

    Dans le cadre de ce plan de relance, l'ONU va soutenir le Mali dans les domaines de la gouvernance, de la consolidation de la paix et de l'accès aux services sociaux de base, alors que la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA) récemment créée, contribuera à la restauration de l'autorité de l'Etat malien sur l'ensemble de son territoire.

    Le PNUD et l'Union européenne ont conclu un accord pour soutenir le processus électoral au Mali - les élections présidentielles sont prévues en juillet – au moyen d'une contribution de 14,8 millions d'euros. Le PNUD participe également au renforcement des capacités des organisations qui jouent un rôle de premier plan dans la transition politique en cours, telles que la Commission de dialogue et de réconciliation établie récemment.

    A Bruxelles, l'Administratrice associée du Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement, Rebeca Grynspan, a rappelé que les besoins de développement à long terme du Mali ne devaient pas éclipser l'urgence humanitaire dans le nord du pays


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    Source: Reuters - AlertNet
    Country: Angola, Central African Republic, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria

    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 16 May 2013 10:15 AM

    By Isaiah Esipisu

    NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The future of cassava, one of the most climate-resilient crops in Africa, may be under threat because rising temperatures have led to a dramatic increase in the number of whiteflies, tiny insects that spread the deadly cassava brown streak virus.

    Read the full article on AlertNet


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    Source: Government of Austria
    Country: Austria, Burkina Faso, Mali

    Austria provides aid at International Donor Conference for Mali

    Vienna, 15 May 2013 – The international community has set the way ahead for the time after armed conflict in Mali. The political and security crisis in Mali has been a matter of concern for the international community since 2012. After re-establishing the unity of the state of Mali efforts have been increased since the beginning of the year to consolidate peace in the Sahel. Austria is also providing direct emergency aid for the strengthening of state and democratic institutions. “Working together for a new Mali is what we now need to do. Austria reacted at once to the humanitarian crisis in the region and provided 3.1 million euros in emergency aid last year. We are continuing this commitment now at the International Donor Conference in Brussels”, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said.

    In addition to the 1.25 million euros earmarked for Mali in 2013 (950,000 euros in humanitarian aid plus 300,000 in food aid), Austria will now be providing additional aid measures. An additional 200,000 euros will go to SOS Children’s Villages International for helping refugees and in particular for taking care of children and women. “It is always the civilian population that suffers the most in conflicts of this kind, especially the young and the weak”, Spindelegger said. “It is our obligation to support the people of Mali through this important transition phase following the ending of armed conflict.”

    A central foundation for a sustainable peace is help in developing functional state structures. In this context Austria will provide the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) with 500,000 euros support over the next three years as a means of strengthening civil society in Mali and will thus contribute to the re-democratisation of the country. “A strong and independent civil society plays a main role in securing the rules of democracy and maintaining the principles of responsibility, transparency and good government leadership. This is a prerequisite for sustainable peace and for social reconstruction in Mali” the Vice-Chancellor said.

    In addition to the direct aid for Mali, support for its neighbouring states such as Burkina Faso – a priority country in Austrian development work – is also of great importance. There is additional pressure on already short food resources as a result of the flow of refugees. Furthermore there is a risk of instability spreading to neighbouring countries. This is one of the main reasons for Austrian participation in the EU training mission to Mali (EUTM Mali) involving members of the Austrian army due to continue until 31 July 2014.

    Contact:
    Federal Ministry for
    European and International Affairs
    Press Department
    Tel.: +43 (0) 50 1150-3320
    Fax: +43 (0) 50 1159-213
    abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at


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