The United States has joined its international partners in providing additional funding to meet the needs of people affected by the conflict.
In its continuing effort to help restore peace and stability to the troubled West African nation of Mali, the United States has joined its international partners in providing additional funding to meet the needs of people affected by the conflict there. At a donors conference held in Brussels, Belgium, on May 15, American officials pledged more than $32 million in new humanitarian aid for the Malian people.
Mali was plunged into conflict last year when soldiers overthrew the government, allowing militants among the country’s ethnic Tuaregs who were seeking greater autonomy, and later groups linked to al-Qaeda, to take over the northern two-thirds of the country. French and African troops intervened in January and have helped drive the militants from major towns in the region.
Extremist fighters have continued attacks from bases in the mountains and desert. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced by the fighting and breakdown of civil order, many fleeing to neighboring Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.
New U.S. funding builds on our significant aid commitment to address the needs of refugees, internally displaced persons and other people affected by the conflict. Although direct aid to the Malian government has been suspended because of the coup, we are providing over $7 million in elections assistance, $83 million in health support, almost $5 million in peace and security assistance and $33.5 million in economic growth programming, along with over $180 million in humanitarian aid, including the newly-announced funding. Overall, donor nations attending the Brussels conference pledged $4.2 billion to help Mali rebuild its government and security institutions and other infrastructure projects.
Part of this funding will go to help Mali’s transitional government conduct a presidential election, now scheduled for July 28. The head of Mali’s electoral commission said organizers will be ready to hold the vote as scheduled.
The United States urges authorities to ensure that the voting will be inclusive, credible and free. Such steps are needed to help Mali’s return to constitutional order and establish a government with the needed legitimacy to pursue longer term political and development policies, including national reconciliation.