EU gives 20 mn euros in aid to Mali

The EU announced Tuesday it was sending an additional 22 million euros ($29 million) in humanitarian aid to victims of the conflict in Mali.

The European Commission said this brings its emergency assistance since the start of the crisis last year to 115 million euros.

"Our top priority in Mali is to stabilise the very fragile food security situation which has been aggravated by the impact of the violence," EU Commissioner for International Cooperation Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.

"We mustn't forget that apart from the 167,000 Malians who have taken refuge in neighbouring countries and 227,000 more who have fled the fighting in the north, there are a million people affected by the crisis in the north in urgent need of food assistance," Georgieva said.

Earlier this month, the EU provided aid worth 20 million euros to help restore law and order in Mali as well help to restore basic state services.

The EU said recently it would resume a programme of development aid totalling 250 million euros for Mali as it returns to a democratic government after a military coup in early 2012 opened up the west African country to Islamist rebels who seized control of the north before being pushed back by French forces.