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 Mali Presidential election
In response to the Mali Presidential election Oxfam's Country Director of Mali Mohamed Coulibaly said:
“We must not underestimate the huge task any new government in Mali will face. After years of underdevelopment, the first task of the new President must be to improve governance, accountability and basic services”.
"A year of conflict has damaged health services and water systems while hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced. As many as 3.5 million people do not have enough food to eat and malnutrition rates are alarming in the north of the country”.
"Improvements are possible if the new Government seeks to meet the needs of its people, listening to their concerns and tackling tensions between and within communities. Encouraging a strong civil society free to hold its government to account is crucial for a stable democracy”.
"The international community has its role to play too by ensuring humanitarian funding is available for lifesaving work and supporting the new government to build transparency, accountability, and participation of citizens in the political process”.
1. Following the crisis over the last year, Mali has fallen seven places in the Humanitarian Development Index, now making it one of the five poorest countries in the world.
2. The crisis in Mali has led to the displacement of about 500,000 people both inside and outside the country (OCHA)
3. According to UNHCR, less than 10,000 refugees have been registered to vote in Sunday’s election.
4. People have started to spontaneously return to the north of Mali with an increase since May. According to humanitarian partners 3.5 million people are food insecure across Mali. This includes 1.4 million people in need of immediate food assistance.
5. A UNICEF nutrition survey conducted in the region of Gao in May 2013 shows that the situation is “serious” in the entire region. The rate of global acute malnutrition (GAM) in the region is 13.5 percent. The situation is particularly alarming in the Bourem health district where the GAM rate has reached emergency levels at 17 percent.
6. On 16 July, the UN appeal for Mali was 30 percent funded with approximately $ 142 million pledged out of the $476 million required.
7. Oxfam is responding in the north of Mali and has already reached 133,000 people providing them with clean water, sanitation services, and food. The organisation is also supporting national civil society organisations to monitor elections at over 4000 voting stations.
Ilaria Allegrozzi, Mali Rights in Crisis Policy & Campaign Manager, Tel: 00223 66752526 / IAllegrozzi@oxfam.org.uk / Skype: ilaria.allegrozzi