What are the needs?
The humanitarian community in Mali continues to face a complex emergency with hundreds of thousands of displaced people, returnees and refugees in a context of violence, food insecurity, malnutrition and epidemic risk.
The conflict in Mali has compounded an ongoing food and nutrition crisis which affects the entire Sahel region. The quick succession of food crises has significantly eroded the resilience of the poorest families who have limited access to basic social services such as health care.
An estimated 2.6 million Malians are at risk of food insecurity in 2015 and half a million children under five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition. The food crisis affects the whole country. It affects more people in the south as 87% of the population lives there, but it affects populations more severely in the conflict-ridden north where 3 out of every 4 households are food insecure. In 2014, Mali was also faced with the challenge of limiting the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
How are we helping?
The EU’s early and substantial humanitarian response to both the food crisis and conflict in 2012 has helped guarantee access to basic health and nutrition services, clean water, shelter, food and protection for some of the most vulnerable Malians including refugees and displaced people.
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) contributed to the scaling up of nutrition care for severely malnourished children in 2013. The Commission also funded food assistance for hundreds of thousands of food insecure people during the severest food shortage period of the year. The European Commission made significant contributions to guarantee free quality health care in northern Mali where partners were also quick to respond to outbreaks of cholera and measles.
Assistance to internally displaced people and people affected by the conflict included psycho-social support, information activities about humanitarian aid and principles, and education about the dangers of mines and unexploded remnants of war. The EU financed the 'Back to School' campaign aimed at providing quality education in a safe environment for 200 000 children in the northern regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.
The EU is also mobilising all available resources to help contain, control, treat and ultimately defeat Ebola by establishing a coherent international response.