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Mali: The people of northern Mali lack everything: food, water and health care

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Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
Country: Mali

There have been more clashes in the north of the country recently, and the plight of tens of thousands of people continues to alarm the ICRC, which remains in full action mode. It is helping local communities meet their basic needs and acquire the means to sustain their livelihoods over the long term.

In 2014, the ICRC did the following:

  • It distributed some 4,000 tonnes of food, household articles and other essential items to tens of thousands of displaced people in Mopti, Gao and Kidal, and to people who had returned to Mali after taking refuge in neighbouring countries.

  • It delivered food aid, and over 610 tonnes of seed, to some 230,000 people around Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu and Mopti. It also distributed tools to fishing and herding families, gave advanced training to veterinarians and vaccinated over 1.3 million animals.

  • It supported several community health-care centres, a referral centre, and Gao hospital by supplying them with medicines and other supplies, together with financial support to help them pay their staff. The ICRC's medical team in Gao continues to provide medical and surgical treatment free of charge.

  • It helped set up a psychosocial programme in Gao hospital for traumatized individuals (victims of sexual violence, etc.).

  • It organized a seminar on war surgery for around 30 professionals.

  • It helped the Mali Red Cross technically and financially to enable families who had been split up by the conflict restore and maintain contact with their loved ones (22 children were reunited with their parents, and over 3,850 phone calls were made).

  • It repaired old and built new water-supply systems, including wells for herders, in both towns and rural areas. The ICRC also provided fuel to run the water-purification system in the city of Kidal and the generator at Gao hospital.

  • It visited over 4,100 detainees in 30 places of detention, both established and temporary. The ICRC distributed hygiene kits and repaired sanitary facilities and water-supply systems.

  • It helped the authorities deal with malnutrition and improve detainee access to health care.

  • It raised awareness – among soldiers, both Malian and foreign (from the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali), gendarmes and fighters from a variety of armed groups – of their duty to respect international humanitarian law, and in particular of the need to protect the civilian population.


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