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Mali: CARE and Local Partners Are Distributing Food in Timbuktu Region

The food security situation is expected to deteriorate further in northern Mali and parts of Mopti region as of the end of February

BAMAKO (February 18, 2013) – Although humanitarian access remains limited in northern Mali, CARE and our local partners are on the ground, distributing much-needed food to both returnees and people who have remained in the conflict-ridden Timbuktu region. Over the past few days, we’ve have distributed 450 metric tons of food to 25,881 people in the Timbuktu region, and aim to reach more than 47,000 people with essential food items by the end of the month.

“Despite the challenges and the risks, it is important that we come to the aid of the people of Timbuktu as this region remains highly vulnerable. It also is the region that suffers the most from acute food insecurity in Mali,” said CARE Mali Country Director Claudine Mensah Awute.

More than half a million people are already food insecure in northern Mali, with an additional 1.2 million at risk, according to the World Food Programme. Further, there are fears that the food security situation will deteriorate even more in northern Mali and parts of Mopti region as of the end of February.

The current conflict in Mali has started in the midst of a Sahel-wide food and nutrition crisis that eroded the resilience of the population. Millions continue to suffer and the recent fighting has created additional humanitarian needs.

Overall, 4.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Mali.

Since mid-January, CARE has distributed 668 metric tons of food to 46,888 people both internally displaced people and host communities in the regions of Mopti and Sgou, along with more than 2,320 family kits full of emergency supplies, such as mats, blankets, soap, mosquito nets and kitchen utensils.

Food and access to water, sanitation and hygiene remain the highest priorities according to CARE’s recent assessments conducted to ascertain the needs of newly arrived displaced people as well as the local population in Mopti and Sgou. CARE will continue its food distributions, aiming to reach 200,000 people in the regions of Timbuktu, Mopti and Sgou over the next six months. CARE is also constructing and rehabilitating water points and latrines, and is distributing hygiene kits to local and displaced communities in the regions of Mopti and Sgou.

Media Contacts:

Atlanta: Brian Feagans, CARE, bfeagans@care.org, +1.404.979.9453, +1.404.457.4644
Geneva: Adel Sarkozi, CARE, sarkozi@careinternational.org, +447509693225

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