Growing humanitarian crisis in northern Mali
Thousands of Malian families have fled their homes in recent weeks because of armed conflict and attacks in the northern regions of Timbuktu, Mopti and Gao.
People in Timbuktu have been the most severely affected, with a registered number of more than 53,000 internally displaced people within the region. The crisis has further deteriorated the situation in communities already lacking food due to a poor harvest last year.
This week, CARE sent a shipment of 12 tons of energy biscuits, more than 600,000 water purification tablets, jerry cans and tents to Timbuktu.
Amadou Osseni, the CARE emergency assistance coordinator, visited Timbuktu last week. He said:
The situation is critical. Displaced people are being hosted by families who do not even have enough food and water for themselves, but the sense of solidarity is very strong in Mali, so people share what little they have until they run out.
“Lack of food is the most critical issue right now. People are mostly farmers and breeders, living in a very fragile area. If they cannot go home in time to produce for next season, lack of food will become even more critical. The rainy season starts in July, so time is running out.”
CARE is particularly concerned by the impact on women and children.
“Women are responsible for getting water and food to the household, so their security, dignity and possibilities for coping are of particular concern. CARE’s assistance gives priority to women and girls in order to minimise the risk of gender-based violence, which is always a great worry in these kinds of situations,” says Osseni.
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