News / Africa

UNHCR: Mali Food Shortages Growing

A Malian soldier walks into a military camp used by radical Islamists and bombarded by French warplanes, in Diabaly, North of the capital Bamako, January 21, 2013.
A Malian soldier walks into a military camp used by radical Islamists and bombarded by French warplanes, in Diabaly, North of the capital Bamako, January 21, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reports food shortages are growing in Mali as more people flee from the ongoing fighting. The UNHCR said humanitarian agencies only have limited access to those displaced in northern Mali because of the dangers.

The U.N. refugee agency reports a growing number of refugees are crossing into neighboring countries as air strikes and fighting continue in Mali. Since France invaded northern Mali on January 11, the UNHCR said more than 4200 refugees have arrived in Mauritania.  

A displaced Malian woman gets ready to prepare a meal in their new home in Bamako, capital of the country. (UNHCR/H.Caux)A displaced Malian woman gets ready to prepare a meal in their new home in Bamako, capital of the country. (UNHCR/H.Caux)
x
A displaced Malian woman gets ready to prepare a meal in their new home in Bamako, capital of the country. (UNHCR/H.Caux)
A displaced Malian woman gets ready to prepare a meal in their new home in Bamako, capital of the country. (UNHCR/H.Caux)
This is in addition to the 55,221 people who previously had fled there after the takeover of northern Mali by militant Islamist groups. During the same period, UNHCR spokesman, Adrian Edwards, said 1,300 new refugees have arrived in Niger and nearly 2,000 in Burkina Faso. He said, “New arrivals are continuing to tell us they are fleeing air strikes and fighting, as well as the application of Sharia law."

"They speak of increasing shortages of…food and fuel, with traditional markets unable to operate. A lack of cereal is pushing breeders to either kill some of the animals they have or try to sell them. Some refugees are traveling by private car or truck to the borders, while others have arrived from Mali on foot or by donkey," said Edwards.  

Edwards said the UNHCR and partners are providing clean water, sanitation, food, adequate shelter, healthcare and education to refugees in camps in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.  

In Burkina Faso, he said vehicles are going back and forth at the border to pick up refugees who are unable to walk. He said the agency also is moving refugees away from the border to safer sites inland.

The UNHCR reported that, as of now, some 147,000 Malians have found refuge in neighboring countries. Inside Mali, he said nearly 230,000 people have fled their homes, mainly from Kidal, Timbuktu, and Gao.

“For the internally displaced, as well as for refugees, the immediate needs are water, food, shelter and medical care," he said. "Living conditions are particularly difficult for the internally displaced, who are particularly in need of food.”  

Edwards said UNHCR does not have access to northern Mali and other agencies also are finding their access severely restricted by the security situation. As a consequence, he says the UNHCR and its partners are doing what they can to help those who are internally displaced in the Malian capital, Bamako, through income-generating schemes.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid