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International Donors Pledge More Than $4B To Fund Mali Development Plan

“An E.U.-led donor conference agreed on Wednesday to provide €3.25 billion [$4.18 billion] to fund a sweeping development plan for Mali, but European donors made clear that the interim government must live up to its promises to implement democratic and social reforms in exchange for the international lifeline,” The Guardian reports. “Four months after an E.U.-backed French force halted an advance by militants in the country’s north, the E.U. hosted the donor conference to help finance the Malian government’s plan to improve health, education, the economy and food security,” the newspaper adds (Spence/Simon, 5/16). “The sum exceeds the goals of Mali which had asked donors for nearly two billion euros for this year and next,” Reuters notes, adding, “France and the E.U. led the drive for funding to rebuild Mali and halt a resurgence of al Qaeda-linked Islamists who were driven out of the major northern towns by a French-led offensive” (Bilby, 5/15). In addition, “[t]he Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced [at the donor conference] on Wednesday  that it has finalized two new grant agreements with Mali for malaria and TB, worth a total of €50 million [$64.3 million], which will significantly improve access to health services and deliver treatment to tens of thousands of people,” according to a Global Fund press release (5/15).