FILE In this file photo of Tuesday March 17, 2009 Andry Rajoelina arrives at a rally in Antananarivo, Madagascar. A colonel who supported Rajoelina's takeover last year claimed Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 that he and other top-ranking officers have taken over the Indian island nation. Rajoelina, the DJ-turned-politician who seized power with military backing last year, had hoped to demonstrate he had the people's support with Wednesday's constitutional referendum. Instead, top officers said they have had enough of Rajoelina, and of the isolation and misery the Indian Ocean island has suffered since they backed his takeover. Rajoelina won't be able to hold onto power long without the military's support. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay-File)

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