OTTAWA – Canada is providing $13 million in new humanitarian aid to help with food and health care for victims of the war in Mali.
International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino announced the additional contribution today after attending a global donor meeting in Ethiopia.
Canada’s additional funds appeared to be a separate contribution from the more than $450 million for the military campaign in Mali against Islamist extremists that was raised by donors at the Ethiopian conference.
Fantino said Canada’s new contribution will help improve food security, reduce malnutrition, address emergency health care and provide other humanitarian assistance.
The new funds will go towards food security, reducing malnutrition, emergency health care support, particularly for children, the minister said in a statement.
“Building on Canada’s significant investments over the past year, Canada will continue its life-saving work in Mali through humanitarian and development assistance,” he said.
“Canadian investments have contributed to improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable Malians affected by the crisis, but we remain deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation and its effects on the stability of the Sahel region.”
The aid will be distributed through non-governmental and United Nations agencies.
Canada is also contributing a C-17 heavy-lift transport plane to help move military equipment in support of French troops until Feb. 15, but government sources say they don’t expect any additional military assets to be committed.
Sources also say Canada’s special forces are on the ground in Mali to help protect Canadian personnel already operating in the troubled West African country.