As the military coup in Bamako on 22nd of March and the tense situation in northern Mali evolved Norwegian Church Aid has done its utmost to maintain the relief efforts in Mali. Julia McDade, Norwegian Church Aids Area Representative in Mali, says that it is now calmer and again possible to work in Kidal and Gao, although the situation is unstable.
Norwegian Church Aid is now planning a new and extensive food distribution in Mali. (Photo: Julia McDade/Norwegian Church Aid)
As a result of the chaotic situation people had to flee for their lives. A total of 260 000 people are now displaced. The humanitarian needs among the displaced people are high.
"Very few international organisations are now operating in the North, and it is especially challenging in and around the town of Kidal. Although Norwegian Church Aid has a big advantage after working with local partners in the country for 30 years, also we had to consolidate our efforts in recent months", says Anne-Marie Helland, General Secretary of Norwegian Church Aid.
In collaboration with World Food Programme (WFP), Norwegian Church Aid is now planning to distribute a total of 5700 tons of food in the hardest hit areas in the period of May-December.
"If the security situation allows, we hope to start food distribution during the next few weeks", says Helland.
According to OCHA, there are now 15 million people thretened by hunger in Mali and West Africa.
"A highly tested population need all the help they can get. We and other organisations can accomplish much, but it is urgent. It is a race against time to avoid a situation like the Horn of Africa last year", says Helland.