IOM Intervenes to Help Displaced in Northern Mali

USAID and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) have agreed to provide USD 774,000 and USD 70,000 respectively to help IOM to deliver lifesaving aid to some 25,000 vulnerable Malians displaced by conflict in the north of the country.

The aid, including essential non-food relief items, transport assistance, family tracing and reunification, medical referrals and psychosocial assistance, will target the most vulnerable, including women, unaccompanied children, the aged and those living with disabilities.

The projects, implemented in close collaboration with UNHCR and other humanitarian partners, including local NGOs, will primarily target conflict-affected internally displaced people (IDPs) from Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal.

From this week, IOM will also coordinate with Mali’s Ministry of Civil Protection in Bamako and other humanitarian actors, using IOM’s displacement tracking matrix tools to track and monitor IDP movements, while at the same time identifying needs and targeting humanitarian aid.

Mali has been severely affected by sporadic fighting that restarted in January 2012 between the government and Tuareg rebels demanding independence from the south. A military coup in March led to further intensification of the fighting as extremist groups joined the conflict.

In April the rebels declared the northern part of the country an independent Islamic state of AZAWAD, but many residents and other groups are opposed to secession from the South.

The crisis has led to the internal displacement of an estimated 154,754,000 people and more than 180,000 refugees who have sought refuge in neighbouring Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Algeria.

The mass displacement has put increased pressure on host communities in Mali and neighboring countries already impacted by severe food shortages that has been affecting the entire Sahel region in the past months.

IOM is seeking additional funding to help more IDP’s and to implement livelihood projects that will help vulnerable Malian hosting communities to cope with the ongoing complex crisis.

Source: International Office of Migration (IOM) – Press release – 26 June 2012