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Mali: Food aid for 24,000 people in Gao region

By International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, March 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Over 24,000 people in Gao and Gounzoureye (in north-eastern Mali) have since 7 March been receiving food aid from the Mali Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

For people hit doubly hard by the combined effects of socio-economic hardship and the conflict affecting this part of the country, the 432 tonnes of rice, millet, semolina, oil and iodine-enriched salt distributed will cover their food needs for two months.

"Prices have risen because of the decline in trade with northern Mali," said Ibrahima Bah, an ICRC delegate in Gao. “With food staples particularly affected, people can't afford to cover their basic needs without outside support.”

The ICRC and the Mali Red Cross will continue their relief work over the coming weeks to assist over 260,000 people affected by the fighting in the northern regions of Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao.

Since the conflict broke out in January 2012, the ICRC and the Mali Red Cross have delivered food and other essentials to some 800,000 people in the regions of Mopti, Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.