As the humanitarian situation in Mali reaches crisis point, the British Red Cross has given £200,000 from its Disaster Fund to help provide vital aid. The money will be channelled through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is working across Mali.
Fighting and military campaigns in the north of Mali have worsened the already vulnerable situation of many thousands of people. According to the UN, more than 4.3 million people in Mali now need help.
The ICRC has good access across Mali, including in the conflict areas in the centre and north of the country. Together with the Mali Red Cross, it is providing food, essential household items and seed, and helping people improve their livelihoods.
The whole Sahel region of west Africa was severely affected by food crisis last year. Many people in Mali still have difficulty accessing food, and the situation is worsening as thousands of people flee their homes.
Around 267,000 people are now displaced within Mali, creating new and intensified needs for food, protection, water, and healthcare. To make matters worse, many humanitarian agencies cannot access areas of Mali or reach affected communities.
The current military operations have also disrupted food supplies to the northern regions. This means there is less to buy at the market, and people’s supplies of food and money are running out.
To date, the Red Cross has given a £325,000 from its Disaster Fund to support the ICRC’s work in Mali. The latest contribution will provide 17,520 people with food parcels containing rice, wheat, oil and salt for one month.