Assistance to victims of explosive hazards in northern Mali: Gao and Timbuktu regions

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In northern Mali, many people are victims of explosive remnants of war (ERW), landmines and improvised explosive devices (IED). Since February 2012, 28 people have been killed and 136 injured by explosive remnants of war, while an additional 36 have been killed and 116 injured by improvised explosive devices since July 2013.

Survivors of explosive incidents often sustain permanent injuries, which can require a significantly adapted lifestyle.

One of the main pillars of action for UNMAS’ humanitarian response is to assist victims of incidents related to explosive hazards. This is done through coordination with humanitarian, development and governmental stakeholders, in order to improve the system of identification and referral of victims, as well as by supporting physical rehabilitation and socio-economic support to persons with disabilities via a key partner.

Moreover, UNMAS centralizes information related to incidents and victims in line with international standards for data collection. This enables the production of statistics and detailed analysis which help to assess needs and to ensure a strategic humanitarian response.

In September 2014, UNMAS started to support a project, implemented by Handicap International, to assist survivors of incidents caused by explosive hazards, as well as other persons with disabilities, in the regions of Gao and Timbuktu, which are heavily affected by explosive threats. This project aims at responding to their physical as well as socio-economic needs, including physiotherapy and rehabilitation services, and prosthetic devices, as well as economic and social insertion.