A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Oxfam reaction to the UN Security Council Presidential Statement on Mali
Eric Mamboue Oxfam Country director in Mali said:
“We are extremely concerned by the triple crisis – political, security and humanitarian – currently taking place simultaneously in Mali. Some 3.5 million people are at risk as the country has been hit by one of the worst food crises in decades.
“We are concerned that some of the sanctions imposed by neighboring countries and supported by the Security Council, if maintained for more than a few days, could serve to make an already desperate situation even worse.
“The closure of borders imposed by ECOWAS is worrying for us as markets play an essential role in meeting basic food needs. Some 40% of goods come from outside Mali. Humanitarian groups like Oxfam are very concerned that border closure – even for all but humanitarian purposes – will simultaneously further undermine the functioning of the market and seriously impact on our ability to provide basic assistance to the most vulnerable. Any restrictions for imports like fuel and any other products needed to keep humanitarian programmes up and running will have a negative impact.
“Banking measures must ensure that they do not prevent flows of remittances from reaching Malian families and aid agencies from maintaining cash programmes with local communities affected by the food crisis. Nowadays these have become central to our operations as they allow us to reach a maximum of people.”
Contact: Louis Belanger +1 917 224 0834 twitter https://twitter.com/#!/louis_press