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EU pledges $675 million toward Mali reconstruction

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BRUSSELS (AP) — On the eve of a major international donors' conference, the European Union is pledging 520 million euros ($674.8 million) over the next two years to help recreate the west African country of Mali as a functioning state.

Officials in Mali have come up with a 4.3 billion euro ($5.58 billion) multifaceted plan for what EU officials are calling "a total relaunch of the country." The plan includes rebuilding government institutions and the military, elections in July, dialogues with rebels in the north, rebuilding roads and schools, reviving the moribund economy so that people get paid for working, and more.

Mali wants to raise nearly half of that from the international community.

Officials say 103 international delegations, including 10 heads of state and government, will attend Wednesday's donor conference in Brussels.

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