Aigachatou, a single mother with her children displaced by violence in Timbuktu. Credit: NRC

MALI: More than 34,000 persons waiting for humanitarian aid

Published 21. Nov 2018
While the number of people fleeing intercommunal violence, armed groups’ activities, and military operations is rising in central and northern Mali, humanitarian agencies are unable to provide emergency relief to starving women and children after running out of funds.

More than 34,000 persons recently displaced by violence in central and northern Mali are left without humanitarian assistance despite having their needs recorded by aid agencies. Faced with an unexpected increase in people forced to flee in central and northern Mali, NRC exhausted its funding for emergency responses in September and since then has been unable to offer life-saving relief to newly displaced persons. 

NRC is deeply worried and is calling for a rapid mobilization of financial partners, without which thousands of lives could be threatened.

Nearly 70,000 people have been newly displaced by violence and insecurity over the past two months, bringing the total number of displaced people to 120,000 since the beginning of this year. The large majority of new displacements have occurred in regions affected by intercommunal violence, armed groups’ activities, and military operations such as Segou, Mopti, Timbuktu, Gao and Ménaka.

“More than a third of those who are fleeing violence are mothers with their children, left alone to fend for themselves. Men, afraid to be targeted by armed groups, often go hide in the bush with close to nothing to survive,” explains Hassane Hamadou, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Mali.

“My children and I have been living under this tree for over a month. My three children are sick and hungry,” said a mother displaced from Menaka interviewed by NRC staff. ”We ran away without a thing. The only thing we could think of was to make it alive. Since we have been here, we have had nothing to eat. When my children start crying, I run to go find some millet seeds I can feed them with.”

About 5.2 million people require humanitarian assistance in Mali, this year. The needs are higher than at any time since the beginning of the security crisis in 2012, according to OCHA. So far, the USD 330 million UN aid appeal for Mali is half funded, while the number of people in need continues to rise. This means that millions of people will most likely never receive assistance before the end of this year.