Africa

‘74,000 Malian refugees need urgent aid’

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Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says 74,000 Malians who have taken refuge in the desert of Mauritania need urgent help and humanitarian assistance.

The medical aid agency, which is also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, said on Friday that the condition of Malian refugees in the Mbera camp was deplorable and that the “humanitarian assistance is insufficient.”

The MSF also said the displaced Malians were suffering from a lack of basic services and food insecurity. There was also a lack of water in the camp, while temperatures rise to 50 degrees Celsius, the aid group stated.

MFS emergency official Marie-Christine Ferir said children had to get a “ration rich in milk and micronutrients so as to avoid malnutrition.”

Ferir also stated that the death rate had increased among children in the camp. “It is currently above the emergency level of two deaths per 10,000 people a day. We have reached 3.2 deaths per 10,000 people a day.”

According to Ferir, 23 to 24 children die on average every day at Mbera.

The French-led war on Mali, which Paris launched on January 11, has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.

On February 27, John Ging, the director of operations for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said about 200,000 Malian children were not getting any education.

Amnesty International also said on February 1 that serious human rights breaches – including the killing of children – were being conducted in Mali.

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