MINISTER OF STATE in the Department of Foreign Affairs Joe Costello has announced €700,000 in funding for war-torn Mali.
The money will be used to provide emergency help to about 500,000 refugees and internally-displaced citizens in the west African country.
The Minister said the funds will support ongoing efforts to respond to the crisis and support the recovery process.
Mali has just seen its first election since France intervened in the conflict earlier this year. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was voted in as President during the July ballot.
“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,” said Costello today, adding that Ireland agrees with and supports the European Union’s approach to supporting Mali through political and diplomatic engagement, security assistance and humanitarian action.
Since early-2012, almost half a million Malians have been displaced as a result of the conflict.
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, according to Costello.
€500,000 of the funding announced today will go to the World Food Programme (WFP), with the remaining €200,000 allocated to the UN Trust Fund in Support of Peace and Security to support activities related to the preparation of presidential and legislative elections.