Washington, Jan 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the disbursement of $18.4 million to Mali in support of efforts to maintain economic stability and growth in the war-torn country during the next 12 months.
The IMF said Mali's economy was going through "a particularly difficult period as a result of the 2011 drought, insurgent attacks in the north of the country and political instability in the wake of the military coup in March 2012".
"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," it said.
The West African nation has been in crisis since President Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted in a coup in March 2012, and a coalition of Islamist groups seized the north of the country.
The 15-member UN Security Council unanimously voted in December to give the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) an initial one-year mandate.
West African nations will deploy 3,300 troops to help Mali retake its Islamist-occupied north and urged other UN members to provide financial and humanitarian aid to the conflict-torn country.
France has deployed its own military contingent to aid Mali's government. The French contingent now totals 2,800 troops.