BAMAKO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently working with partner organizations to reach families in northern Mali whose access to food has been reduced by the on-going conflict and is expected to worsen with the oncoming lean season, from April to June.
“I was able to go to Timbuktu last week and I saw how critical the humanitarian situation really is,” said Sally Haydock, WFP Country Director in Mali. “The areas around Timbuktu are unsecured and difficult to access, markets are not functioning properly, foods prices are high, fuel prices are high, and there is a lack of liquidity, which means that people are not able to buy the basic necessities.”
• In the northern regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal, one household out of five faces extreme food shortages, with a significant deterioration of household food consumption in over the past weeks, according to recent analysis by the humanitarian community.
• WFP is stepping up the transport of food by road and riverboat, and recently launched a logistics operation to bring in food from Niger. Deliveries by road to Kidal have resumed, with 1,000 metric tons of food successfully reaching the region, enough to feed 34,000 people for two months.
• Emergency school feeding is underway in 128 schools in Gao to assist 28,100 school children. Additionally, the school feeding programme has begun in Timbuktu this month in 76 schools.
• In April, WFP is planning to provide food assistance to 145,000 people in Timbuktu; 86,700 in Gao; 34,500 in Kidal and 130,000 in Mopti, In other parts of the country WFP is planning to reach 37,000 vulnerable people in Ségou and 4,100 in Kayes.
• Under its current emergency operation, WFP plans to support 564,000 people in Mali on a monthly basis, including about 360,000 in the North. WFP also plans to assist 163,000 Malian refugees on a monthly basis in Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger.
• WFP operations in Mali and neighbouring countries require around US$312 million. The overall shortfall is US$159 million. The operation is currently 51 percent funded.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
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Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel: +41 22 917 8564 Mob. +41 79 4734570
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 945 0634
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 207 2409001, Mob. +44 796 8008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 556 6906, Mob. +1 646 8241112
Daouda Guirou, WFP/Bamako, Tel. +223 207 34577, Mob. +223 66763227