Mali Situation update, no 5 - 15 May 2012
• UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres together with WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin visited Niger from 4 to 7 May to draw attention to the double folded humanitarian situation on food crisis compounded by the recent arrivals of the Malian refugees in the Sahel region. They called on the international community to help Malian refugees and host communities and emphasized that a political solution is urgently needed to prevent the situation in the region from turning into a global crisis. They also emphasized that urgent financial support is needed for these operations which are critically under funded.
• The current political instability in Bamako and the insecurity in northern Mali are triggering continuous influxes of refugees into Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania. Close to 12,000 Malian refugees have arrived in neighboring countries since late April.
• In Burkina Faso, the working environment is getting increasingly difficult following security incidents involving both civilians and refugees. The United Nations has raised the Sahel region to level 2 on the Security Level System.
• A logistical challenge ahead is the rainy season, which is expected to start in May. Many of the refugee sites will be completely cut off and inaccessible. Stockpiling of basic relief items and shelter material needs to be undertaken now. This will not be possible without additional financial resources.