Humanitarian situation remains precarious

(Bamako/Dakar, 18 June 2013): The Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Mr. Robert Piper, completed a two-day visit to Mali today. While in Bamako, he met with the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Finance, Education, Health, Energy and Water as well as representative of the Minister of Humanitarian Action, Solidary and the Elderly to discuss the humanitarian situation and financial support for humanitarian action in the country. He also held meetings with the humanitarian community, representatives of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), donors and the media.

During his meetings with the Government, Mr. Piper underlined his concerns over the low level of humanitarian funding despite serious and growing humanitarian needs. He requested the Government to assist humanitarian organizations with securing additional resources given the current funding gap estimated at US$277 million. As of today, the humanitarian appeal (CAP) for Mali has received only $133 million, or 32 percent of the $410 million requested.

“The humanitarian community remains very concerned about Mali. Warning indicators are flashing for the whole country, with people in the north being most vulnerable”, Mr. Piper said.

About 3.5 million people in Mali are considered food insecure with 1.4 million of them in need of immediate food assistance. Some 660,000 children under the age of five remain at risk of acute malnutrition and Mali has the third highest child mortality rate worldwide (176 per 1000 live births). Access to education has also been compromised for more than 800,000 students in the country due to the crisis in the north.

Poor water, hygiene and sanitation conditions, combined with the possible imminent flooding in parts of the Sahel, including Mali, may result in an upsurge of epidemics. A cholera epidemic has been already recorded in the northern region of Gao last month.

Despite these urgent needs, key sectors of the humanitarian appeal remain poorly funded. Food security, for example, is funded at 39 percent, nutrition at 20 percent, while only 11 percent of funds have been secured for water, sanitation and hygiene.

“The successful 15 May Mali donor conference in Brussels needs to urgently translate into new funding for the Mali humanitarian appeal, before the situation deteriorates further still”, Mr. Piper concluded.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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