France awards 360 million euros in aid to Mali: Hollande

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 21, 2015 12:11 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - Mali will received 360 million euros ($408 million) in aid from France for 2015-2017, French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday during a visit by Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The funding is aimed at helping rebuild the West African nation, especially its northern region, which has been torn by years of separatist Tuareg rebellion and attacks by al Qaeda-linked Islamists.

A French-led military intervention in January 2013 helped drive out Islamists militants who had occupied northern Mali following a Tuareg uprising and a military coup in the capital.

Hollande said France had disbursed 300 million euros to Mali in the two years following the military intervention.

"For 2015-2017, we will do even more. It will be around 360 million euros, of which 80 million will go to the north," he said during a joint news conference with Mali's president.

Part of the aid will consist of donations and another will be in the form of subsidized loans at preferential rates, a source at the French president's office said.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Alison Williams)