News / Africa

UN Says Humanitarian Aid Flowing in Northern Mali

Men transport food aid intended for recently liberated portions of the country, near Sevare, Mali, Feb. 4, 2013.
Men transport food aid intended for recently liberated portions of the country, near Sevare, Mali, Feb. 4, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
— The United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, David Gressly, says humanitarian aid has been moving very quickly in northern Mali since the French military rout of Islamic rebels that began January 11.
 
According to Gressly, some 30,000 people have been displaced by the current intervention and most have fled as refugees into neighboring Mauritania. He says the situation has calmed down in the north and aid agencies now have access into central Mali, where the U.N is preparing to use the city of Mopti as a logistical base.
 
Gressly says the World Food Program started moving food into the north two days ago, and other supplies also are being sent north to Timbuktu.
 
“We’re concerned about the population in the north at this point because they have been cut off. We did not stockpile huge amounts of supplies in the north prior to this, partly because of fears of pillaging and so forth," he said. "It is important that we get early access to northern Mali. There are approximately 5,000,000 people in northern Mali that are food insecure that need this assistance, so we are working now to make that a reality.”
 
Besides humanitarian assistance, Gressly says protection of civilians is of great concern. He refers to allegations of human rights abuses against civilians in the north by the rebels and also reportedly by Malian security forces. He says human rights monitors must be put on the ground quickly so they can check on the validity of these allegations.
 
Gressly says the crisis in northern Mali is compounded by a broad, chronic crisis throughout the country and across the Sahel region of western and central Africa. He says the United Nations projects that 10 million people across the Sahel will be short of food this year, including two million in Mali. In addition, he says, about one million children are expected to be malnourished, with 200,000 cases of acute malnutrition in Mali alone.
 
Gressly says a political solution that makes all residents feel part of a common Malian state is necessary to avoid a repeat of the humanitarian crisis.
 
“It is important that all citizens feel that they have equal part in that Malian state if that territorial integrity is not to be challenged again," he said. "Secondly, the fact that we have such high rates of malnutrition and food insecurity indicates a development problem in the country. This is not exclusively or even primarily in the north. It effects probably the south. Eighty percent of those needs are actually in the south. So, there is a need for an equitable development approach that deals with these underlying problems in a systematic way - north and south - if we are to see our way out of the repeated crisis that we see in Mali.”
 
Gressly says he is not predicting that the situation in northern Mali will get worse, but that the humanitarian community must be prepared for further attacks in the north and future difficulties in delivering aid.
 
He says everyone will have to wait and see how things evolve and be prepared to adapt to new realities as situations change.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid