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The food security situation is expected to deteriorate further in northern Mali and parts of Mopti region as of the end of February
BAMAKO, Mali (February 18, 2013): Although humanitarian access remains limited in northern Mali, CARE International and its local partners are on the ground, distributing much needed food to both returnees and people who have remained in the conflict-ridden Timbuktu region. Over the past few days, CARE and its local partners have distributed 450 metric tonnes of food to 25,881 people in the Timbuktu region, and aim to reach over 47,000 people with essential food items by the end of the month.
“Despite the challenges and the risks, it is important that we come to the aid of the people of Timbuktu as this region remains highly vulnerable. It is also the region that suffers the most from acute food insecurity in Mali,” said Claudine Mensah Awute, Country Director with CARE Mali.
More than half a million people are already food insecure in northern Mali, with an additional 1.2 million at risk, according to the World Food Programme. Further, there are fears that the food security situation will deteriorate even more in northern Mali and parts of Mopti region as of the end of February.
The current conflict in Mali has started in the midst of a Sahel-wide food and nutrition crisis that eroded the resilience of the population. Millions continue to suffer and the recent fighting has created additional humanitarian needs.
Overall, 4.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Mali.
Since mid January, CARE has distributed 668 metric tonnes of food to 46,888 people–both internally displaced people and host communities–in the regions of Mopti and Ségou, along with more than 2,320 family kits full of emergency supplies such as mats, blankets, soap, mosquito nets and kitchen utensils.
Food and access to water, sanitation and hygiene remain the highest priorities according to CARE’s recent assessments conducted to ascertain the needs of newly arrived displaced people as well as the local population in Mopti and Ségou. CARE will continue its food distributions, aiming to reach 200,000 people in the regions of Timbuktu, Mopti and Ségou over the next six months. CARE is also constructing and rehabilitating water points and latrines, and is distributing hygiene kits to local and displaced communities in the regions of Mopti and Ségou.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to help lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty.
CARE has been working in Mali since 1975.
Last year, CARE worked in 84 countries around the world to assist more than 122 million people improve basic health and education, fight hunger, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, confront climate change, and recover from disasters. To learn more, visit www.care-international.org.
Adel Sarkozi (Geneva), firstname.lastname@example.org, +447509693225
Brian Feagans (Atlanta), email@example.com, +4049799453
 Source: OCHA, Mali: Complex Emergency Situation Report No 25 (as of 13 February 2013)