BRUSSELS – The European Union says it is resuming development aid to Madagascar after a three-year hiatus prompted by a coup that ousted the country's elected leader.
The government of President Andry Rajoelina announced last week that the island nation would hold presidential elections on May 8, 2013.
In 2009, Rajoelina overthrew his rival, incumbent president Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military. The coup, seen as an assault on democracy, triggered the immediate suspension of aid from the EU, U.S. and other Western donors.
The EU said on Tuesday it would allocate €54 million ($67 million) this year for programs aimed at promoting health and education, and for civil society groups.
EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs says the bloc's assistance would focus on helping Madagascar's most disadvantaged citizens.