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

 


Northern Mali on the brink of a new food crisis

Published: 31 January 2014

Bamako, Mali: Ahead of the Sahel Appeal to be launched by the United Nations on the 3rd February 2014 in Rome, 11 humanitarian agencies warn that northern Mali is set to face another serious food crisis unless funds are rapidly mobilized.

More than 800,000 people need immediate food assistance, and across the country three million people are at risk of not finding enough to eat, according to the result of the December 2013 Harmonized Framework which convenes non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and United Nations agencies working on food security in the Sahel. More than half of these people are living in northern Mali.

The combined effects of armed conflict and the lasting impacts of the 2012 food crisis in the north of Mali, combined with poor recent harvests, have had a severe effect on populations, limiting access to food and livelihoods for the most vulnerable, said ACF, ACTED, AVSF, CARE International, DRC, Handicap International, IRC, Plan International, Oxfam, Solidarités International and World Vision.

Increasing food insecurity

Franck Vannetelle, Director of Action Against Hunger in Mali, said: “The number of vulnerable people facing a new food crisis is likely to double if the needs identified are not met quickly”. In July 2013, a World Food Programme (WFP) report highlighted that 75.2 per cent of households were food insecure in the regions of Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal and Mopti. This number has continued to rise in recent months.

The ‘lean’ season – when food stocks run low before the next harvest – will start early this year. The late arrival of rains, the low availability of cereal stocks in households, poor harvests in some parts of the country and the failure of markets to function properly mean that people have not been able to recover since last year’s lean season. Herders have not been able to use traditional pastures and water points critical for the survival of their animals because of insecurity.

Hélène Quéau, Head of Mission for Solidarités International in Mali, said: “The volatile security situation increases pressure on infrastructure and basic services in more secure areas, and disrupts the economic activities essential for people to recover, making them vulnerable to the slightest shock.” The difficult situation is likely to see more people migrating and getting in to debt in order to cope.

Greater technical and financial resources needed

Humanitarian organizations are calling for a rapid response. The UN’s emergency appeal for Mali in 2013 was only 55 per cent funded. The outlook for 2014 is already proving bleak with a drastic cut in contributions from certain emergency and development donors. Greater technical and financial resources are needed to respond to the onset of this food crisis.

Osseni Amadou, Emergency Coordinator at CARE International Mali, said: “Food and nutrition support in the north of Mali should be stepped up in anticipation of the early hunger gap in 2014”. It should be done in parallel with interventions to support capacities of population to be resilient and also anticipate and prepare to recurrent crisis.

Mohamed Coulibaly, Oxfam Director in Mali said: “The response to immediate humanitarian needs must be combined with a vision and commitment to implementing sustainable solutions. We have to invest in agricultural and pastoral policies that place family farming at their heart, as well as introduce social protection policies and food reserves that make people less vulnerable to shocks.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news