Although the situation in Mali has improved dramatically in recent months, UN estimates made earlier in the year suggest well over 200,000 Malians are internally displaced, while a similar figure have fled abroad for shelter. Many of these people have migrated to Mopti, in the south of the country. Local figures suggest more than 40,000 displaced people are now living in Mopti.
The upheaval comes at a particularly bad time for Malians. Drought and food insecurity has troubled the whole Sahel region since poor rainfall in 2011. This has left many people in Mali acutely vulnerable to chaos caused by political instability and violence.
Support at a critical time
As ever at times of crisis, mothers and young children are at particular risk. SOS Children aims to bring support to 1,000 children, as well as 1,300 pregnant women and new mothers. Especially important is nutritional support to ensure the wellbeing of children under 5, who might otherwise suffer the long-term consequences of malnutrition.
Tragically, many children caught up in the violence have suffered human rights violations. We aim to reach around 700 of these children living in Mopti, offering psychological support to help them recover from the trauma of what they have suffered, and protection to ensure their future security.
Giving people back their lives
Beyond immediate relief, we will help as many as possible return to something close to normality. A crucial part of the emergency programme will involve the reintegration of over 1,000 people to their communities, providing housing and shelter to those who have no home to return to. Last month, children evacuated from our Village in Mopti were able to return home as stability returned to the region.
Food distribution began at the end of July, and our work will continue as we help families and children recover from the violence which has shaken Mali since early 2012. Through the provision of food, nutritional support, and all the help we can provide, we will ensure the most vulnerable people in society are able to go on with their lives.