Mali: Increasing Number of Displaced Persons May Overwhelm Humanitarian Response - UN

(file photo).

In central Mali, an increasing number of displaced persons are stretching the humanitarian response and recent violence and floods are worsening their plight, spokesman for the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General said on Wednesday.

At a press briefing, Stephane Dujarric said the increasing number of displaced people in the Malian region of Mopti may overwhelm existing response resources.

Currently, "there are over 210,000 people facing food insecurity. Only 2 per cent of the communities have access to safe drinking water," he noted.

Moreover, he said inter-communal violence and floods in Mopti are aggravating an already precarious humanitarian situation for over 50,000 internally displaced people, citing figures from the International Organisation for Migration.

Malian government authorities, civil society organisations and UN agencies in the capital, Bamako, and Mopti are working to address the most urgent needs of the more than 120,000 displaced people currently registered in the country, he said, adding that the UN peacekeeping mission had enhanced its presence in Mopti to better protect civilians from attacks.

Mali descended into chaos in 2012, when an insurgency by Tuareg rebels led to a coup in the capital Bamako. Militants then overpowered the Tuareg to seize control of the north.

A 2013 French-led operation drove the extremists out of the region's towns and cities. But Tuareg rebels and militants remain active throughout the area. -Xinhua

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