February 5, 2013
By Simon Chambers
PWRDF is contributing $20,000 to the ACT Alliance‘s appeal to provide assistance to some of the hundreds of thousands of Malians who have been forced to flee the violence which currently grips their homeland. ACT will provide support to 50,000 internally displaced people made up of displaced families, school children and malnourished children living with host families.
Following a military coup d’état in Mali in March 2012, a combination of the separatist Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Islamic jihadist Ansar Dine captured all of the northern Malian regions of Tombouctou, Gao and Kidal. Large numbers of civilians fled to the Malian southern regions and to the capital, Bamako, as well as across the borders into neighbouring countries.
As of 14 January 2013, the Commission Mouvement des Populations reported that an estimated 228,918 people had been internally displaced (forced to flee their homes but still within the country), up 15% since November 2012. Another 145,000, the majority of them women and children, have fled Mali and sought refuge in poor areas of neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger.
Impoverished host communities, still recovering from a region-wide food crisis in 2012, now have to share already scarce food and water. At some sites across the borders, refugees outnumber the host population. Water, food, shelter and medical care are needed immediately.
ACT is coordinating with local authorities, other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) as they respond to this emergency.