International donors pledged more than 3.25 billion euros in aid to help reconstruct the West African state of Mali to a terror free and viable nation.
Co-chair of the Brussels conference, French President Francois Hollande, said that the country pledges had exceeded $ 2.5bn.
Mali’s president said the world had “unanimously moved in the direction of Mali”.
Mali’s government has a 4.3bn-euro plan for “a total relaunch of the country”. It includes rebuilding government institutions and the military, repairing damaged infrastructure, organising presidential elections, holding dialogue with rebel groups in the north and stimulating the economy
The money pledged well exceeds the €3 billion euros requested by Mali over the next two years, which will go towards covering about half the cost of a 2013-14 economic and political reformation program agreed to in combination with the international community.
“We need water, health, justice, jobs, fairness,” said Mali’s interim President Dioncounda Traore.
Traore also announced that the July poll would go ahead as planned, but warned the country’s electoral commission had cautioned that it might be too soon.
EU President Herman Van Rompuy, stressed to donors that the country needs stability and peace “for its future and that of the Africans”.
Restoration of state institutions takes precedence, and there is no denying the magnitude of the task ahead.
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