UN refugee agency ready with assistance for newly displaced in Mali

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A displaced Malian woman prepares dinner for her family in the capital, Bamako.

Clashes over the weekend between the Malian Army, supported by France, and Al-Qaida linked Islamist groups in the Konna, Lere, and Gao areas of northern central Mali, have resulted in new population displacement – both within Mali, and into neighbouring countries.

And the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), says it has updated its contingency planning and is ready with assistance, should there be new, major potential influxes to neighbouring countries and more displacements in Mali.

UNHCR says currently, access to new areas of displacement in the north remains impossible because of the security situation.

Spokesperson Adrian Edwards says in the capital Bamako, many internally displaced persons are struggling to make ends meet.

” Many people are living in small rooms in bad conditions with no electricity or direct access to water. They generally lack space to accommodate all family members. The needs for money, food and shelter are huge. We are in the process of working with partners on income-generating activities to help the situation.”

Adrian Edwards says UNHCR remains short of funds for the Mali crisis with only 63 percent ($US77.4 million) received of the $US123 million sought for helping refugees and internally displaced people in 2012.  He says UNHCR anticipates it will need a further $195.6 million for 2013.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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