World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Mali: Adults Eat Less So Children Can Eat Twice a day

Mali Insecurity: Adults Eat Less So Children Can Eat Twice a Day

A serious food security crisis is developing in the Gao region of northern Mali due to a shortage of cereals on the market, rocketing food prices and restricted access, warned international aid agency Oxfam today.

In a recent survey conducted between January and February 2013 in the circle of Bourem, an area in the Gao region where Oxfam carries out programmes, the agency found that up to 80 per cent of adults have reduced their daily food intake, in order to allow their children to eat at least twice a day. They have also had to reduce their daily food rations or share the food they received with neighbours or family members.

A separate market survey in the same area revealed that in January 2013 the price of basic foodstuffs went up by as much as 70 per cent as a result of the military operation. By February, these abnormally high prices, far greater than the five year average, had still not stabilised. Oxfam‘s survey found that cereals like sorghum, millet and corn are no longer available on the market. While the availability of certain cereals is now improving, the continued closure of the Algerian border is preventing access to other key products in the diet of northern Malians, such as pasta, oil, sugar and rice.

Fuel shortages, rising fuel prices and conflict-related damage have also affected the water and electricity supply in the town of Gao.

Military interventions carried out since the beginning of the year have led to road closures and the departure of traders, who have still not returned to the area. Furthermore, a large number of small traders, many of whom are women, lost their goods and cash in a fire in the Gao vegetable market during fighting in February. This trade was essential to allow the poorest households to buy food in the small quantities they were able to afford.

”In Gao, prices have increased dramatically and local rice has gone up by more than 50 per cent since October last year. This is having a dramatic effect on the population,“ says Philippe Conraud, Oxfam Country Director in Mali. “The banking system is completely disrupted and the population has very little cash available. They will find it difficult to meet their immediate needs if the situation doesn’t improve,” he added.

The agency is calling on the humanitarian community and donors to mobilise and provide rapid assistance to those most in need. As of March 15, 2013, the UN’s emergency appeal for Mali had only received US$56 million, just 17 per cent of the total US$386 million requested.

Oxfam is concerned that an overwhelming focus on the military intervention and operations is overshadowing urgent humanitarian and protection needs and calls on donors to step up their funding for key sectors such as food security, water, sanitation, protection, education, health and sustainable livelihoods.

Oxfam needs more than US$9 million for 2013 to be able to implement its humanitarian programmes in both the Gao and Segou region for the next 6 months. Certain donors such as the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Agency, ECHO, have already provided significant support.

Oxfam is aiming to reach 70,000 people via support to livelihoods and food distributions. The latest food distribution was completed at the beginning of March.

/Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Le Pen Beaten: English Congratulates Macron On French Election Win

Prime Minister Bill English has this morning congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential election. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The French Election Result

Macron is shaping as the third major test case, after Bill Clinton, after Tony Blair – on whether the aim of ‘progressive social policy’ and realities of ‘neo-liberal economic settings’ can be made to credibly co-exist within the same sentence, let alone within the decrees from the Elysee Palace. More>>

Werewolf: The Maverick On Moloka’i

Monday, April 17 was Moloka’i’s turn for some face-to-face time with Tulsi Gabbard, who is part Samoan and part haole (pakeha), a practising Hindu, and a Middle East combat veteran. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>

Turkey: Observers Say Erdogan’s Constitutional Referendum Flawed

Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms created unlevel playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, international observers say. More>>

ALSO:

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO: