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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid