U.S. Suspends $13M In Aid To Mali Following Coup; U.N. Security Council Expresses Concern Over Humanitarian Crisis In Mali, Sahel Region
“The United States is suspending at least $13 million of its roughly $140 million in annual aid to Mali following last month’s coup in the West African nation, the State Department said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports, noting the “suspension affects U.S. assistance for Mali’s ministry of health, public school construction and the government’s efforts to boost agricultural production.” According to the news agency, “U.S. law bars aid ‘to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.'” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said, “These are worthwhile programs that are now suspended because that aid goes directly to the government of Mali,” Reuters notes (4/5). France and the European Union also immediately suspended all but essential humanitarian aid to the country, according to the Associated Press/USA Today.
Also on Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the military coup and called for the restoration of Mali’s constitution and government, according to the news agency. “The council statement expressed concern over a growing humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region and called on the international community to step up aid to the landlocked nation at the edge of the Sahara,” the AP writes. Mali’s U.N. Ambassador Omar Daou said that because of the coup, “[h]undreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs (internally displaced persons) are currently living in unimaginable conditions,” the AP notes. The international aid agency Oxfam echoed Daou’s comments in a statement, saying that 3.5 million Malians are at risk because of food insecurity, according to the news agency (4/4).