IOM Calls for Access to Conflict-Displaced Malians, Appeals for Funds
IOM is urgently appealing for USD 3.5 million to provide immediate
life-saving assistance to internally displaced Malians who have
fled fighting and insecurity in the north of the country to seek
shelter in the capital Bamako, the northern river port city of
Mopti and the western city of Kayes.
IOM is also working with local partners, including the Malian
Red Cross, the Association of Municipalities of Mali (AMM) and the
Malian Civil Protection to gain access to displaced populations
(IDPs) who remain trapped in northern conflict areas without
The humanitarian assistance, including the provision of shelter
and non-food items, also aims to assist vulnerable groups of IDPs
who have gathered in the northern regions of Gao, Kidal and
The funding is also needed to provide livelihood support to
drought and conflict-affected host communities who can no longer
cope with the tens of thousands of vulnerable displaced people
arriving in their towns and villages.
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Malians Displaced by Fighting
The food crisis in Mali is now affecting some 3.5 million
people, including 1.84 million suffering from severe food
insecurity. Current estimates indicate that at least 147,000 people
have been forcibly displaced by the conflict, of which an estimated
45,000 are now located in the south of the country.
An estimated 97 per cent of the IDPs are living with host
families in host communities. Of these, an estimated 67 per cent
depend entirely on host families for food.
“Vulnerable displaced families living in drought-affected
host communities are stretching very limited resources,” says
IOM Head of Office in Mali Lily Sanya.
“We therefore urgently need funding to provide emergency
supplies to vulnerable IDPs and support to host communities to help
them cope with the additional pressures resulting from this latest
displacement,” she adds.
Reports of sexual violence and abduction of children for use as
soldiers have contributed to the on-going exodus of populations
from the north to border regions.
The new funding will help IOM to set up a comprehensive
displacement tracking matrix to monitor movements in Mali to help
the humanitarian community to assess needs and target aid more
It will also allow IOM and its partners to relocate people at
risk to safer locations, to identify victims of trafficking or
those at risk of trafficking, including unaccompanied minors, and
to provide psychosocial assistance and health
“The deteriorating security situation in the north and
widespread criminal activities have disrupted economic routes
normally used to transport goods, which effectively means most
displaced families can no longer afford staple foods such as
millet, sorghum, rice and corn,” says Sanya.
“We must act now to implement these measures ahead of the
rainy season, which will further complicate delivery of life-saving
assistance,” she adds.
IOM is also concerned that the current lack of in-country
assistance in Mali will push more IDPs to migrate to neighbouring
countries, including Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger, which are
already struggling to cope with their own food insecurity and the
arrival of more than 160,000 Malian refugees. The return of tens of
thousands of migrant workers from Libya to Mali and its neighbours
in the past year has further contributed to the crisis.
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