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315 words - May 17, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
Thirteen heads of state and 107 delegations took part in the High-level Conference on Support and Development of Mali in Brussels. The participants pledged EUR 3.25 billion to support Mali, short of EUR 1.05 billion about the overall cost of the recovery plan, said the United Nations. France whose military intervention against radical Islamists saved Mali from the brink of a full collapse will represent the largest contribution for a single country by far.
According to an official statement issued by the Quai d'Orsay, France pledged to pay EUR 280 million bilaterally, in addition to her multilateral contribution. It shall also provide 20% of the European Union's assistance, to the tune of EUR 520 million. By comparison, the statement specified, France's Official Development Assistance to Mali before the crisis amounted to about EUR 50 million a year.
Its neighbor, Belgium, announced it will provide a financial contribution of EUR 17.3 million in 2013 and EUR 14.2 million in 2014. According to the Minister for Development Cooperation, Jean-Pascal Labille, "it is our duty to assist the Malian people, just as we are coming to the aid of those in eastern Congo and Syria."
Nigeria has so far committed over USD 45 Million since January 2012, and pledged the additional sum of USD 2 million to be devoted to supporting the agricultural development of Mali. "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 of Nigeria, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo.
Mali can be "very satisfied" with the amount pledged by the international donors, President of Mali Dioncounda Traoré told MEPs. On May 15, French MFA Spokesman Philippe Lalliot thought that raising up to EUR 2 billion would be satisfactory.
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