UN HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS CHIEF CONCLUDES HER MISSION CALLING FOR PEACE AND STABILITY IN NORTHERN MALI
GENEVA, Switzerland, August 31, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos today visited Mopti in northern Mali and expressed her hope for a return to peace and stability so that displaced people could return home.
“After decades of conflict in northern Mali people deserve peace and stability so that they can return home. I hope the international community, regional bodies and the Government of Mali will work to that end,” said Ms. Amos. “It is ordinary people who are feeling the brunt of the crisis.”
"Some 440,000 people have fled from northern Mali since the coup in March this year. They told me that they are the lucky ones,” said Ms. Amos. “There are many people we cannot reach because so many places are too dangerous for relief organizations to work.”
In Mopti, the Humanitarian Chief saw relief supplies being sent by river barges to towns further north, including Timbuktu. At a camp for internally displaced people, Ms. Amos helped distribute bed nets and heard testimonies of the threats and attacks in the north which had caused people to leave their homes.
The majority of the people displaced by the conflict have fled across the border into neighbouring countries such as Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. Conflict and displacement is further exacerbating the food and nutrition crisis which is affecting some 18.7 million people across the region.
Ms. Amos arrived in Mali on Tuesday to assess the humanitarian response to the severe food and nutrition crisis affecting 4.6 million people in Mali, including 175,000 children at risk from severe acute malnutrition. Across the Sahel region 1.1 million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.