World Bulletin/News Desk
The European Union will pledge more than half a billion euros($650 million) to help Mali rebuild after months of conflict, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Tuesday.
"I am announcing that the EU will pledge 520 million euros for 2013 and 2014 at the donor conference for Mali," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in the press conference with Mali's Interim President Dioncounda Traore.
The funding, promised for 2013-14, represents an initial step towards the 2 billion euros that Wednesday's donor conference aims to raise for Mali's recovery program, with Bamako putting up an additional 2.3 billion euros.
France declared that it would extend to its old colony 280 million euros till the end of 2014.
Turkish Minister of Development Cevdet Yilmaz will represent Turkey at the donor conference for Mali in Brussels on Wednesday.
Mali's President Dioncounda Traore also told the briefing the country will hold presidential elections on July 28.
"I do believe it will be kept to the 28th of July, we will do everything for the presidential elections to start on that day," Traore said.
The Malian government is seeking roughly 2 billion euros in support from the conference, which is being organised by the European Union, to help fund a 4.34 billion euro plan to keep the peace and help restore infrastructure to the country.
"If we can get to 1.5-1.6 billion then I would say we are about there," Mali's President Dioncounda Traore told the briefing.
"Mr Barroso announced a figure. I think that's a good start. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, in a week or in a month, it is clear that the international community, the European Union, will inject a lot more than that."
Over a year of conflict has resulted in the exodus of tens of thousands of refugees to the surrounding countries of Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger.
France is looking to withdraw thousands of its troops and hand over security duties to a U.N. peacekeeping mission.Last Mod: 15 Mayıs 2013, 09:40