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Mali: "Food, security, protection and peace what people need the most" - Deputy Humanitarian Chief

30 Aug 2018


Today, Deputy Humanitarian Chief Ursula Mueller visited Mopti, in central Mali, where humanitarian needs have increased due to intercommunal violence and attacks by armed groups. She arrived in Mali yesterday for a four-day visit to raise awareness of the deteriorating humanitarian situation and to find ways to enable an increased and timely humanitarian response, including by addressing the significant funding gap.

Currently, 972,000 people need protection and humanitarian assistance in Mopti, the highest proportion of people in need in the country. Ms. Mueller met with internally displaced people in Bankass, where she heard about their conditions and concerns, as they are in desperate need of food, water and shelter. "Violence and intercommunal clashes have gotten worse here this year", Ms. Mueller said, "and this has huge implications, including humanitarian organizations not able to access areas and people in need of assistance".

"The work done by national and international NGOs is extraordinary", DERC Mueller said.

The number of internally displaced people in Mali has sharply increased since the beginning of the year to over 75,000 by the end of July. In Mopti, the number of displaced increased from 2,000 in April to 12,000 in July. "I met with people who had to flee their homes due to violence, and with the communities that are hosting them. They spoke of what they need most: food, security, protection and peace".

Ms. Mueller also met with humanitarian organizations to better understand the challenges they face in providing life-saving and protection assistance and with local authorities, stressing the need to scale up conflict resolution efforts, access to basic social services and protection.

Ms, Mueller praised the work done by national and international NGOs. "Despite huge challenges - security, access, funding and administrative impediments - they are continuing their critical work and reaching those who most need humanitarian assistance", she said.

Some 5.2 million people - 1 out of 4 Malians - are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, compared to 3.8 million in 2017 and 4.1 million in early 2018. The level of need is higher than at any point since the beginning of the crisis in 2012. Despite the increasing needs, as of today, only 31 per cent of the US$330 million sought by the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan has been received, making Mali one of the 10 least funded plans globally.