Ansongo, Mali, 18 June 2015. People receive food. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
Geneva / Bamako (ICRC) – Enduring terrible hardship, often with no means of survival or even shelter: that is the reality for thousands who have fled widespread violence in northern Mali in recent months. Their plight has prompted the distribution of 1,400 tonnes of food, as well as seed and other essential supplies, in and around Mopti, Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), working together with the Mali Red Cross and community leaders.
"We're very worried about the violence. It's taking its toll not only on these communities, but on safe access for humanitarian workers too, thereby depriving people of crucial assistance," said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC delegation in Mali. "Neutral and impartial humanitarian work must be allowed to go ahead so that those who are destitute receive the help they need."
Rice, beans, oil and other food supplies have been distributed to some 63,000 people in recent weeks. Almost 18,000 people who have returned to their homes in the region have received mosquito nets, cooking utensils, hygiene items and other essentials.
Ansongo, Mali, 18 June 2015. People gather at a distribution point. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
"This aid meets the most pressing needs, including those of communities which are hosting displaced people. These host communities are themselves struggling to make ends meet and their generosity is being severely tried," said Jean-Pierre Nereyabagabo, who runs the ICRC's economic security programmes in Mali.
The ICRC also provided rice, millet and sorghum seed to 100,000 subsistence farmers, while nearly 900,000 head of livestock have been vaccinated and treated for disease. The ICRC works in close collaboration with Mali Red Cross volunteers, community representatives and public utilities.
For further information, please contact:
Ananie Kulimushi Kashironge, ICRC Bamako, tel: +223 75 99 55 68
Claire Kaplun, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05