News / Africa

Aid Groups Warn of Potential Food Crisis in Northern Mali

A girl gathers rice spilled from a humanitarian food convoy that arrived from the Malian capital Bamako in the northeastern city of Gao, Jun. 14, 2012.
A girl gathers rice spilled from a humanitarian food convoy that arrived from the Malian capital Bamako in the northeastern city of Gao, Jun. 14, 2012.
Jennifer Lazuta
International aid agencies warned Thursday that food insecurity in northern Mali will reach “emergency levels” within two months if more attention is not given to humanitarian issues. They are now calling for increased food aid distribution and for the full disbursement of requested emergency aid funds.

A joint analysis by four international aid agencies found Thursday that up to two-thirds of the people in Mali’s northern regions of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal do not have enough to eat.

"Right now the north of Mali is in a crisis situation, said Philippe Conraud is the Mali country director for Oxfam. "It’s a level three out of four. The fourth one, emergency, might be reached over the next couple of months if nothing is done. So what that means in terms of [food] reserves, and in terms of us, is that, in that situation, we need to provide free food distribution, massive food distribution."

Conraud said in some cases, the food just is not there for sale. In other cases, the food is there but locals do not have the money to buy it.

Many shopkeepers and traders fled the region due to fighting and ethnic tensions. And Algeria closed its border with Mali in January when the French-led military intervention began. That has made it difficult for supplies to reach the markets.

Banks were looted in northern Mali in April 2012 when the region fell to rebel groups, and they have not reopened.

Oxfam reports that the price of food staples like pasta, rice and sugar doubled in some areas between October 2012 and February 2013.

Aid group Action Against Hunger says that daily wages in northern Mali fell from $2.50 in 2012 to between $1.50 and $2 in the beginning of 2013.

The head of Solidarity International in Mali, Franck Abeille, said this has left many people in a very precarious situation.

"We are not at the point where people have nothing to eat at all, but it’s quite hard for them," he said. "They are reducing the number of meals per day. They are all selling all their livestock. Some don’t have the capacity to find food. Some have to contract more credit and more credit, which could be very hard for them to later refund."

Abeille said that to keep the situation from getting worse, humanitarian aid must not only be brought in as quickly as possible, but it must be adapted to each community’s needs.

"[For example], if you are in some places where the markets are not supplied at all and you have no food available, then you have to do some food distribution. If you are in some places where the markets are supplied, then you can do some cash allowance programs. So solutions exist on the humanitarian side," said Abeille.

He said that the problem now is funding.

As of April 19, only 26 percent of the U.N.’s requested emergency aid money had been received.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George
April 28, 2013 11:55 PM
And what of Zimbabwe, many too do have enough food and the reasons are well documented - with tragic consequences.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More