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Food fears for Mali's children

Source: Plan UK - Sat, 2 Feb 2013 06:54 GMT
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CHILDREN and women are bearing the brunt of a growing food crisis in Mali - reports children's charity Plan International.

Aid to the north of the country was blocked after Islamist fighters seized the region, and remains restricted amid security fears following French military action. 

"There are concerns that up to 660,000 under-fives could face extreme hunger in Mali this year,” says Michelet William, Country Director for Plan International in Mali.

"In Northern Mali alone the UN estimates that more than half a million people don't have enough to eat."

"Young kids and women are the most vulnerable and because normal farming has been disrupted by the conflict, the worst could be yet to come."

More than 350,000 people have been forced to flee their homes after fighting in the West African country.

Many have found shelter with friends or family in the South, living in crowded conditions with extremely limited resources.

Emergency teams from Plan International are preparing to deliver aid to tens of thousands of host families and displaced people in the Segou region.

"People are living under incredible strain - for some Southern families the daily cost of housing and feeding their guests is more than twice their daily income," explains Mr William.

"Water, food, shelter and proper sanitation are urgently needed."

Neighbouring countries are also coping with the effects of the conflict - with more than 140,000 Malians living in camps in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.

In Niger, more than 1,700 new refugees have been registered in the last two weeks.

However, aid has been disrupted to camps that are close to the Malian border due to increased risk of abductions and attacks. 

For more information on Plan’s work visit www.plan-uk.org

 

-Ends-

 

Rose Foley
Senior Media Relations Officer
Plan UK | www.plan-uk.org

Direct Line: 0203 217 0257 | Switchboard: 0300 777 9777 / +44 (0)20 7608 1311 (Non-UK) | Mobile: 07964 296 431 | Skype: rose_planUK | Address: Finsgate 5-7 Cranwood Street, London EC1V 9LH

 

Notes to editors

1) Plan is a global children’s charity. We work with children in the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future. A future you would want for all children, your family and friends. For more than 75 years we’ve been taking action and standing up for every child’s right to fulfill their potential by:

 

·         giving children a healthy start in life, including access to safe drinking water

 

·         securing the education of girls and boys

 

·         working with communities to prepare for and survive disasters

 

·         inspiring children to take a lead in decisions that affect their lives

 

·         enabling families to earn a living and plan for their children’s future.

 

 We do what’s needed, where it’s needed most. We do what you would do. With your support children, families and entire communities have the power to move themselves from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity.

 

 www.plan.org.uk 

 

2) Plan UK is a member of The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organisation for 14 leading humanitarian aid agencies.

 

3) We work with children in 50 of the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future.

 

4) Plan was founded by British journalist John Langdon-Davies in 1937 to rescue orphans and other vulnerable children from the Spanish Civil War.

 

5) We have over 100,000 sponsors in the UK, generating £24 million a year, and 1 million sponsored children worldwide

 

6) Sponsorship starts at £15-a-month and, rather than going to individual children and their families, funds projects to improve schooling, health, nutrition and livelihoods across communities.

 

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