The European Commission is increasing its humanitarian aid funding to Mali by €22 million to assist more victims of the conflict. This brings to €115 million its emergency assistance since the start of the crisis in 2012.
The extra funding will increase food assistance and access to basic services throughout the country.
"In Mali, the most vulnerable have been hit by a triple crisis over the past year: first a drought that lead to a major food and nutrition crisis in 2012, then political instability and conflict", said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. "Our top priority in Mali is to stabilise the very fragile food security situation which has been aggravated by the impact of the violence."
Commissioner Georgieva said: "We mustn't forget that apart from the 167,000 Malians who have taken refuge in neighbouring countries and 227,000 more who have fled the fighting in the north there are a million people affected by the crisis in the North in urgent need of food assistance."
The food situation in the North appears to be getting worse and access to vulnerable people is suffering from the general insecurity around some towns and the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on roads.
In 2013 alone, the European Commission has mobilised €42 million in humanitarian aid for Mali. Commissioner Georgieva has visited Mali twice in the last two months to assess the growing humanitarian needs. Yesterday she met with Diango Cissoko, the Malian Prime Minister, to take stock of the situation.
The Commissioner added: "The Sahel region of Africa as a whole has been hit by massive food crises in recent years caused by recurrent droughts. This is why we are already working to prevent the next crisis and why, with my colleague the Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, we have launched an international alliance to build resilience in the Sahel."
Since the beginning of 2012, the European Commission has mobilised €115 million in emergency aid for Mali, including an allocation of €20 million in January and the additional €22 million announced today to assist victims of the conflict in northern Mali. A total of €100 m in ECHO humanitarian funding has been provided since the beginning of the crisis, along with €15 million in emergency food assistance from the European Development Fund.
In addition to the Commission's assistance, EU Member States have committed over €42 million of humanitarian aid to the country since the beginning of 2012.
In the context of the overall Sahel food and nutrition crisis in 2012, the European Commission allocated a total of €337 million (€173 million of which was used for the immediate short-term humanitarian response with €164 million allocated to medium term food security operations).
For more information:
The EU's humanitarian assistance to Mali:
The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection website:
Commissioner Georgieva's website:
Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)
David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)