Last month, I announced €700,000 in funding to provide life-saving emergency assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons in Mali and to support ongoing efforts by the international community to respond to the crisis and support the recovery process in the country. €500,000 of this funding has been provided to the World Food Programme (WFP), the lead agency for hunger and nutrition in the Sahel region. The funding is supporting the WFP to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance, while at the same time strengthening communities’ resilience to face future shocks. Activities being undertaken by the WFP through this funding include food and cash assistance to affected households, supplementary feeding to both prevent severe acute malnutrition and to treat moderate acute malnutrition amongst children, and emergency school feeding. In providing this funding, Ireland is helping to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of displaced households and fragile host communities, across the country but particularly those most affected by the ongoing conflict in the North.
I also approved an allocation of €200,000 to the UN Trust Fund in Support of Peace and Security in Mali, earmarked towards the restoration of constitutional order and national unity, including the conduct of peaceful, credible and inclusive elections. This contribution is part of a comprehensive package of Irish support for the crisis response and recovery process in Mali, which also includes our contribution of personnel to EUTM Mali, our contribution to immediate post-crisis governance needs announced at the Addis Donor Conference in January 2013, as well as the significant levels of humanitarian funding both during and post-crisis.