News story

Mali: Food, water and medical care for those hit by fighting

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK will provide essential medical supplies, clean water and support to families forced from their homes as a result of the conflict in Mali.

Development Secretary Justine Greening announced the new £5m package of support today which will help 240,000 more victims of the year-long conflict in addition to the 200,000 men, women and children the UK has been supporting since January.

The emergency package will include support for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who are operating in the conflict-affected north of the country as well as south and central regions, to help protect and care for women and children caught up in the violence, as well reunite families that have been torn apart since the beginning of the conflict nearly a year ago.

UK support will also include funding for the World Food Programme (WFP) to help feed over 100,000 Malians facing food shortages across Mali including in those areas recently affected by conflict.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

“As is so often the case, innocent civilians are paying a heavy toll for the violent conflict in Mali. Over 370,000 men, women and children have been forced from their homes over the past year and many more are short of food, medical supplies and water.

“This urgent package of support will help provide essential care for those exposed to the conflict and allow the people of Mali to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.”

The support announced today will help:

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) protect 140,000 people affected by the conflict through physiotherapy for the disabled, family members’ reunification and health and psychological care, including for women affected by sexual violence. In addition, ICRC’s work in Mali is helping families access vital services like clean water as well as restore their livelihoods.
  • The World Food Programme (WFP) to carry on supporting those facing food shortages across Mali, including the thousands of people forced from their homes.

Several major aid agencies withdrew from the rebel-held north to southern Mali during January. However, following action by French and Malian forces, some agencies have now returned to central Mali, with the hope that full access to the north will gradually be restored over the coming weeks.

This £5 million package takes the total UK support for conflict-affected Malians in 2013 to £13 million. This funding will now help support over 440,000 Malians through food shortages, major political instability and the outbreak of conflict in the north of the country. The UK will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation closely to ensure that needs are being met effectively and efficiently.

UK support to Mali now totals £13 million in 2013 and aims to support over 440,000 Malians, both inside Mali and in neighbouring countries (Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger) where people fled for safety during the fighting;

The UK’s partners in Mali include the World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNHCR - the UN’s Refugee Agency - and UNICEF.

Including the additional £5 million announced today, the UK has committed £78 million in humanitarian support to the Sahel through the UN, the International Red Cross and International non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) over the last 12 months.