Dublin, 1 Rabiul Akhir 1434/ 11 February 2013 (MINA) – EU Development Ministers will meet in Dublin over the next few days to discuss aid to Mali and efforts to help communities at risk of disaster to better prepare for shocks such as floods or drought.
        The Informal Meeting of Development Ministers takes place in Dublin Castle as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the EU. It will be chaired by Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello.
       Three EU Commissioners, former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson and the UN Secretary General’s special adviser, Amina Mohammed, will contribute to the discussions. Over the two days officials will also discuss efforts to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities in the Horn of Africa to natural disasters and crises.
       On the agenda is aid to Mali, with the Ministers and Commissioners discussing options for a future EU development programme to Mali, in addition to the emergency aid which the EU is providing.
        Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, who has recently returned from the region, will report on the humanitarian crisis.
       “We will discuss how best the EU can support Malian authorities and civilians on the road to recovery,” said Mr Costello, according to a report from UK NEWS quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Monday.
        The conflict has forced half a million Malians from their homes, with the crisis compounded by drought, hunger and food insecurity across the Sahel region. Some 116 million euro in aid has been pledged by the EU to Mali since the beginning of last year, including 1.35 million euro from Ireland.
        More than 2.3 million people have lost their lives as a result of natural disasters since 1983, including 30,000 who died in 302 disasters in 2011 and 200,000 Haitians killed in the 2010 earthquake.
        Costello said work is increasingly important as the number and intensity of disasters increases. “Major emergencies have occurred every year over the past decade, from the Darfur conflict which started in 2003 to the Horn of Africa food crisis in 2011,” he added.
        “As the number of crises increases, the need to plan for them as part of our overall development assistance becomes more critical.This will form an important part of the discussions in Dublin.” (T/P07/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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