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Mauritania: Mauritanian Red Crescent and ICRC aid 72,000 people at Mali border

27-07-2012 News Release 12/156

Tunis (ICRC) – The Mauritanian Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have distributed essential household and hygiene items to some 72,000 people in the M'berra camp near the border with Mali, in southern Mauritania. The distribution, which lasted one week, was completed on 25 July.

The items distributed include blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets and kitchen sets. The ICRC will also provide waterproof tarpaulins – the rainy season started this month and will last until September – for thousands of families without shelter. The Bassikonou chapter of the Mauritanian Red Crescent had already been striving for several weeks to meet the needs of displaced people before the beginning of Ramadan.

Mauritania has experienced an influx of tens of thousands of people fleeing northern Mali since the violence began in January. In response, the Mauritanian authorities and the humanitarian community have provided aid. There are currently an estimated 108,000 Malian refugees in the M'berra camp.

The ICRC has been working in Mauritania for 25 years. Since 2005, it has been visiting people held in various places of detention. It also endeavours to promote and implement international humanitarian law, and provides the Mauritanian Red Crescent with support for the development of its activities.

In northern Mali, the ICRC is distributing food to the people hardest hit by the combined effects of the violence and the food crisis.

For further information, please contact:
Faten Mtir, ICRC Tunis, tel: +216 25 336 200