March 24, 2012 - As an initial response to this week’s coup d’état in Mali, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that Canada is suspending aid programs involving direct payments to the government of Mali, effective immediately.
“Canada utterly condemns this attack on democracy by a faction of Mali’s military,” said Baird. “We call on those behind this coup to immediately withdraw so that constitutional order, peace and stability may be restored.”
“Given the current climate, it is not possible to distribute Canadian aid dollars effectively and as intended. We stand with the Malian people and urge those responsible to put the needs of the Malian people first,” stated Minister Oda.
The suspension of aid programs involving direct payments to the Government of Mali is effective immediately. Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) programs, including those that deliver humanitarian assistance directly to the people of Mali, delivered through international and local non-governmental organizations, will continue.
“We encourage a democratic and peaceful resolution to the situation. Canadian diplomats and foreign aid workers remain in Mali and are eager to return to working with a government elected by the people of Mali as soon as possible,” added the ministers.
These programs, aimed at reducing poverty, improving the health of women and children and supporting democracy in Mali, have achieved considerable success over the years. So, too, have efforts to help Mali contribute to the fight against international terrorism.
“Given Canada’s long and productive relationship with Mali, we hope this crisis is resolved quickly and that this suspension of aid will last no longer than absolutely necessary,” Baird and Oda said. “But Canada will not in any way back this illegitimate rule.”
For more information, please visit Canada’s Response to the Situation in Mali.
For more information on CIDA’s programming in the country, please consult Mali.
- 30 -
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI
Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency