Funding shortage threatens efforts to help 300,000 displaced MaliansListen /
A lack of funds is seriously threatening the efforts of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) to help more than 300,000 displaced by conflict and insecurity in northern Mali.
According to UNHCR, more people are fleeing instability and fighting in Mali with some 20,000 crossing into Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania over the past four weeks alone.
The agency says that the funding shortfall is making it difficult to provide even the most basic assistance — such as water, sanitation, shelter and primary education — to the displaced people.
Andrej Mahecic is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.
"We are facing a dire shortage of funds for the Mali operation which is now seriously threatening our efforts to help more than 300,000 Malians uprooted by the conflict and insecurity in the north of their country. To date, we have received only 13 per cent of the US$153.7 million needed to assist desperate Malians displaced inside and outside their country."