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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid