EU resumes aid to Madagascar

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iol news pic Andry Rajoelina AP Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina

Brussels -

The European Union said Wednesday it would donate 54 million euros (66.7 million dollars) to Madagascar - its first development grant to the impoverished country since it was cut off from aid programmes in 2009 following a coup.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said in a statement that 22 million euros would go to health, 22 million euros to education and 10 million euros to civil society programmes.

Funds will be managed by non-governmental organizations and UN agencies, rather than by local authorities, because the EU still has a ban on giving direct development aid to the Madagascar government, a commission official told dpa.

Since the coup, which saw Andry Rajoelina, a former DJ, seize power with army backing, the Indian Ocean island nation has been mired in a political stalemate.

The international community refuses to recognize the new government, while the Southern African Development Community has failed to broker a reconciliation deal between Rajoelina and his exiled predecessor, Marc Ravalomanana. - Sapa-dpa

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