Mopti, Mali, January 28, 2013 – International Medical Corps has conducted the first rapid, multi-sectoral humanitarian assessment in Konna, Mali – where a rebel takeover triggered French military airstrikes that have caused massive civilian displacement throughout the country. International Medical Corps’ Emergency Team was the first on the ground in Konna to assess health, nutrition, water supply, sanitation and hygiene services, along with other urgent needs.
International Medical Corps’ team was allowed only four hours in Konna, which is currently under control of the Malian army. The team met with community leaders to assess the town’s current humanitarian situation and discuss its residents’ most urgent needs. All sectors of the community participated, including the mayor, women’s groups, local health associations and youth groups. International Medical Corps also visited homes in several parts of the town to see firsthand the household-level impact of the conflict.
Although many families fled during the intense fighting, most have since returned. The market was closed for nearly a month because of insecurity in the area, causing price inflation and compromising access to food and income-generating activities, but is expected to reopen this week. Further, the city’s water systems and health center are functioning, and there are no reports of conflict casualties. International Medical Corps has concluded that there is not an urgent need for humanitarian assistance in Konna. However, the situation remains difficult for residents and International Medical Corps has identified food security issues and vulnerabilities in sanitation, indicating a clear need for development actors to resume their work in the town.
International Medical Corps deployed an emergency team to Mali and Mauritania early last week to assess humanitarian needs resulting from the intensified conflict between armed rebels and the government in Mali. An estimated 4.2 million Malians are in need of humanitarian assistance, facing widespread displacement and hunger. In the coming days, International Medical Corps will continue to assess humanitarian needs on the ground in northern Mali as more areas become accessible, while coordinating with United Nation and NGO partners to respond to identified needs.