30 October 2012, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization (APO), GENEVA, Switzerland — IOM Mali is appealing for US$ 6 million to continue to provide a range of emergency relief services to internally displaced people (IDPs) and impoverished host families in Mali, who have to share their meagre resources with the displaced.
According to recent data released by the IASC Protection Cluster’s Commission on Population Movement in Mali, there are over 200,000 IDPs in the country, most of whom fled their homes in northern Mali after rebels occupied the area.
The majority of the IDPs are either sheltering with host families in the north or have crossed the dividing line to the south, where they are living with local families, or in temporary settlements. Others are living in the open with very little food, water and sanitation.
IOM Mali staff say that some host families are supporting as many as 30 IDPs, placing a huge burden on their limited and already stretched resources. Most have already been affected by the severe food shortages that hit the entire Sahel region caused by drought. The impact of the drought has been compounded by the on-going economic crisis that followed the March 2012 coup and the imposition of international sanctions.
According to aid workers, unless the host families receive help, they may force the IDPs to move again and seek shelter elsewhere. IOM plans to provide them with livelihood opportunities that will strengthen their resilience to the protracted crisis and support the coping mechanisms that they have put in place to help the displaced.
The money will also go towards helping at least 35,000 IDPs with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and the provision of basic health services. IOM will also provide displacement tracking to assess the number of IDPs, the routes they are following and how they are travelling.
To date, IOM Mali has received some US$ 1.3 million for its emergency response in Mali. Donors include USAID’s Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) and AmeriCares.