Paul Magnette meets with Malian Minister Tieman Coulibaly

date: 20 September 2012

Minister for Development Cooperation Paul Magnette has had a meeting in Brussels with the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, Tieman Coulibaly. This meeting takes place pursuant to the formation of a Malian government of national union, which is intended to restore constitutional order in the country following the coup d’état of March 2012 and to stabilise the country after the Islamic uprising in the North. In March of this year, the Belgian Minister for Development had decided to suspend aid to various different institutional development projects in Mali, naturally without adversely impacting the humanitarian projects or food security programmes that affect the Malian population directly.

The two ministers expressed their will to restart all development projects in Mali as soon as possible. Minister Magnette also indicated that the recent formation of a government of national union and the development of a transparent electoral process would accelerate the definitive return of donors in the country. He is therefore very interested in Minister Coulibaly’s intention to present a roadmap to the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week for the development of such an electoral process.

Mali, like the whole of the Sahel region, is facing food insecurity. The most important causes for this are the climate, the increase in food prices and the conflicts in the region. In the Sahel, 18 million people, 1 million of whom are children, are currently suffering from severe malnutrition. The most recent estimates indicate that no financing has yet been found for half of the needs (being approximately EUR 600 million). Belgium’s contribution in Mali is chiefly in the humanitarian sphere, to an amount of approximately EUR 30 million and primarily in a multilateral context. Minister Magnette confirmed that he will be continuing this line of assistance and he also announced that the possibilities for additional support are currently being examined at administrative level.

At the UN General Assembly next week, Minister Magnette will take part in a high-level meeting with a view to drawing up a comprehensive strategy for the Sahel region.