UNICEF Mali Situation Report, 23 April 2012
The recent conflict situation in the North of Mali has exacerbated a larger food insecurity and nutrition crisis affecting the entire Sahel region. Across the Sahel, over 15 million people – including 3.5 million Malians – are estimated to face severe food insecurity this year, and over 1 million children are estimated to be at risk of severe acute malnutrition. According to UNHCR, 131,561 Malian refugees have been officially registered in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger. At least 30,000 refugees more are in Algeria according to the Algerian government.
The volatile political and security situation in the North of the country has compromised access to vulnerable populations in the affected areas for humanitarian aid. WFP, INGOs and many national NGOs have evacuated/relocated aid workers from the rebel-controlled areas. UNICEF has relocated its field staff from the regional capital of Mopti to Bamako.
Despite severe access constraints, UNICEF has managed to send humanitarian assistance to four regions in the north (Timbuktu, Kidal, Gao, Mopti) to cover the medical needs of 60,000 people for one month through 20 basic Interagency Health Kits, treat 730 severely malnourished children and cover the household and water needs of 1,050 families.
Identification of the most vulnerable population and the coordination of key actors to maximize the emergency response remains a major challenge in the northern part of the country. UNICEF has been working closely with UN agencies, INGOs and local NGOs to strategize and re-evaluate programme needs. In parallel, the Child Protection sub-cluster and Education actors are collecting information on education and child protection needs linked to the food and nutrition crisis in the south of the country.
UNICEF has reinforced its emergency capacity through the deployments of surge staff in Emergency and Cluster Coordination, Education, Nutrition, Child Protection, Humanitarian Performance Monitoring, Operations, Communication, Supply and Logistics.
The current UNICEF funding needs are US$ 33.3 million for the combined food and nutrition crisis as well as the IDPs response (23% funded). UNICEF is working on a revision of funding needs for the food/nutrition and IDPs crises based on additional information received as the assessments and data collection are taking place.