In Mali: IMF to the rescue

    A boy who has escaped the conflict in northern Mali stays in the country's capital, Bamako. Photo by: H.Caux / UNHCR

    The International Monetary Fund has now stepped in to help Mali.

    The fund announced Monday (Jan. 28) it will disburse $18.4 million from a facility that provides rapid concessional financial assistance with limited conditionality to low-income countries facing an urgent balance of payments need. The financing aims to help the African country weather multiple crises — from internal conflict to the suspension of donor budget support.

    There is a broader goal, though.

    “The disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility is designed to help Mali deal with urgent balance of payments need and catalyze financial support from Mali’s international partners, which is critical to Mali’s economic recovery,” IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair Min Zhu said.

    The announcement came on the eve of an international conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that sought financial contribution to the international military intervention in Mali. Denmark has already pledged 12 million Danish kroner ($2.2 million), but clarified that the funding is key to promoting long-term development in Mali.

    “There can be no development without security, and without development it will not be possible to create long-term, lasting peace in Mali,” Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal said Jan. 24. “This is why it is so important that we make use of all our instruments  both hard and soft.”

    In areas already controlled by the Malian army, aid groups have begun needs assessment. Household food supplies in Gao, according to Oxfam, will run out after a few weeks. The International Medical Corps likewise has noted food security issues in Konna.

    Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

    About the author

    • Eliza Villarino

      Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.