130,000 displaced in northern Mali

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families fleeing from Mali

Over 130,000 Malians have now been displaced by fighting between government forces and Tuareg rebels in the north of the country, according to  United Nations agencies.

Sixty-three thousand people have been displaced internally with the remaining fleeing to neighbouring countries including Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Algeria.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says reaching those displaced with relief supplies is a major priority as their situation could deteriorate rapidly due to the ongoing drought in the Sahel region.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says it urgently requires US $35 million to respond to the growing crisis.

Adrian Edwards is from UNHCR.

"The appeal aims at covering the needs of 85,000 uprooted people until July 2012. The funds will be used by UNHCR to provide emergency help to the displaced in Mali and neighbouring countries. UNHCR is to establish camps further away from the Mali border to allow refugees to receive help in safer places. They are currently hosted in remote, very arid border areas and villages that are both affected by severe food crisis in the region, drought, and general insecurity. The refugees we are seeing are in desperate need of adequate shelter. They also need food, water and sanitation, healthcare and for their children help with education."

Duration: 49″

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