News story

Overview of UK aid for the crisis in Mali and the Sahel region

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

The UK has been taking the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali very seriously and has ensured that it is providing early, pro-active funds to support the vital operations of aid agencies across the Sahel in 2013.

Mali, in the heart of the Sahel region in West Africa, is experiencing a humanitarian, political and security crisis following a dramatic sequence of events in 2012 and early 2013.

How WFP is getting food aid to people displaced by conflict in Mali

The UK government remains very concerned about the crisis in Mali, and the effect it is having on the Malian population.

Even prior to the recent escalation in violence this year, humanitarian needs were already critical in Mali, with some 2 million people likely to require food assistance in 2013 (according to the UN).

How the UK is helping

Britain was one of the first countries to respond directly to the recent escalation in violence in Mali.

UK aid in the Sahel

Including a £5 million package of support for people affected by the recent fighting in Mali (announced on 12 February 2013), and an additional £15 million announced in late December 2012, the UK has committed £78 million in humanitarian support to the Sahel through the United Nations (UN), the International Red Cross and International non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) over the last 12 months.

UK aid to the Sahel in 2013 is as follows:

  • Over 250,000 people (including refugees, Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and host communities) in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania will receive food assistance (World Food Programme (WFP), £6.5 million)

  • 89,000 children under five suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) will receive ready-to-use-therapeutic-food across the region (UNICEF, £3 million)

  • Over 83,000 refugees receive a comprehensive package of support, including primary healthcare, protection, education and non-food items) in Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger (UNHCR, £3 million) and

  • Over 450,000 people (including refugees, IDPs and host communities) in conflict-affected areas of Niger and Mali will receive emergency healthcare - including support to those injured in the conflict and women suffering from psychological trauma as result of sexual violence - clean water and livestock support (International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), £7.5 million).

UK aid in response to Malian crisis in 2013

A man puts sacks of food onto a cart. Picture: Derek Markwell/DFID
Getting some food is one problem solved. Getting it home is another challenge. Picture: Derek Markwell/DFID

UK aid to those directly affected by the Mali crisis includes:

  • food for 90,000 people, including IDPs and host families in Mali;
  • therapeutic food to treat 15,000 severely malnourished children;
  • a comprehensive package of support (food, healthcare, protection) for 135,000 Malian refugees in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania;
  • emergency healthcare - including support to those injured in the conflict and women suffering from psychological trauma as result of sexual violence - clean water and livestock support to over 200,000 people, including IDPs.