Britain pledges £5m aid for Mali

12th February 2013, Comments 0 comments

Britain announced a £5 million ($7.8 million, 5.8 million euros) aid package on Tuesday to buy food, medical supplies and clean water for civilians caught up in the conflict in Mali.

The aid will also help the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide physiotherapy for disabled Malians and psychological care for those affected by the conflict, Britain's international development ministry said.

"As is so often the case, innocent civilians are paying a heavy toll for the violent conflict in Mali," said International Development Secretary Justine Greening.

"This urgent package of support will help provide essential care for those exposed to the conflict and allow the people of Mali to rebuild their lives and livelihoods."

The aid includes funding for the UN's World Food Programme to help feed more than 100,000 Malians facing shortages, the ministry said.

The package brings Britain's total aid to Mali to £13 million.

A French-led military assault launched on January 11 has recaptured northern Mali's major towns from Islamist militants who seized control of them almost a year ago.

But the Islamists have started a campaign of suicide attacks, landmine explosions and guerrilla fighting in a troubling turn for France, which is preparing to hand over the military operation to African troops.

© 2013 AFP

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