Conditions in northern Mali portend disaster
[Magharebia] The suffering of northern Mali citizens is becoming worse under the domination of al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)-allied Islamist groups.
On Thursday (August 30th), UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos sought to highlight the plight of children, calling for more resources to prevent severe malnutrition.
"Children's lives are being blighted by a nutritional crisis which we have the knowledge and capacity to address, but we lack the funds to do everything that is needed," Amos said after a visit to Mali.
Almost 150,000 children across Mali have been treated for acute malnutrition this year, according to AFP.
Civilians' hardships are further aggravated by dire poverty and lack of supplies in the three major cities -- Gao, Kidal, and Timbuktu. This is in addition to the lack of job opportunities for young people.
Abdelkalek Cissé, a journalist residing in Gao, described the humanitarian conditions of populations as catastrophic and told Magharebia that the people were in need of urgent aid.
He confirmed that aid provided by the Algerian Red Islamic Thingy was still limited in proportion to the enormity of disaster that has befallen the Azawad people since the beturbanned goon groups took control of the city.
Cissé called upon charity organizations to intervene as soon as possible to address the deteriorating conditions which are becoming increasingly worse with the lack of even the most basic necessities of life.
Mali Actualité published a plea for help by Kidal hospital manager Moussa Ag Mohamed calling for medicines on an urgent basis and confirming that the medicines that were brought by the Algerian humanitarian convoy would suffice for just two weeks.
International and regional relief organizations have considerably cut their aid because they are not sure that such aid would reach the targeted populations, Mohamed Ag Ahmedu, a field journalist, told Magharebia.
He added that "some pro-Islamic groups' people, especially traditional chiefs and some holy mans, are the only ones who receive quantities of this food aid while those who declare their rejection of jihad boy Islamic groups' control are denied such aid."
The position of relief organizations might have been the factor that made Sanad Ould Bouamama, official spokesperson of Ansar al-Din that controls Timbuktu and Kidal, describe the humanitarian situation as catastrophic and launch a strongly-worded attack against Islamic relief groups. "They are in dereliction about what Moslem brothers are suffering in Mali," he said.
The catastrophic conditions under which Malian refugees are living today, whether inside or outside Mali, have led to the spread of cholera in recent weeks, MaliWeb cited the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as saying August 10th.
Posted by: Fred