Over 350,000 people have fled their homes in Mali
08.02.13 Since fighting began, 230,000 people have been displaced inside Mali and there are over 150,000 Malian refugees in the neighbouring countries. A recent Amnesty International report highlights growing concerns of human rights violations carried out by the Malian Army, including extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests of civilians. Asylum seeking Malians who left the country last year when fighting broke out in the north and are now detained in Malta have also expressed their concerns to UNCHR staff regarding the safety of their family members, not only in Mali but en route to refugee camps.
Whilst daily figures of refugees fleeing have fallen and many internally displaced people (IDPs) based in Bamako, the capital, are keen to return home, the prospects to do so are limited in view of the ongoing violence.
Against this backdrop, access to humanitarian assistance has improved in the south but there continue to be shortages in basic supplies, and living conditions are said to be precarious. According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there continues to be difficulties in delivering humanitarian aid in the north and in assisting numbers of people displaced and stranded in Tin Zaoutin at the Algerian border.
The European Commission has committed around $26.5 million (€19.8 million) to address the issue of nutrition and refugee assistance, however OCHA reports that these funds have not yet been allocated to specific projects.