WFP concerned about the threat of a looming food and nutrition crisis in northern Mali

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Internally displaced children in Mali – UNHCR/H. Caux

The UN food agency (WFP) is concerned about the threat of a looming food and nutrition crisis in northern Mali.

WFP says it is concerned that some areas in need of food assistance are not readily accessible, due to the volatile security situation and the risks of landmines and attacks. More worrying, the agency warns, the flow of imported commercial goods into northern Mali has been almost interrupted and as a result the economy has almost come to a standstill; markets are closed or barely functioning, prices are soaring and people are using up their remaining stocks. It says all this contributes to the threat of a looming food and nutrition crisis.

Meanwhile, WFP says it has opened a new land route for transporting vital food assistance from Niamey, in Niger, to northern Mali, where the volatile security situation and economic disruption is affecting food supplies.

It says the first trucks delivered 200 metric tons of food to the town of Menaka, in the Gao region, and more convoys are on the way.

Over the past two weeks, WFP has delivered almost 2,000 metric tons of food assistance to 100,000 conflict-affected people in northern Mali, mainly in the Timbuktu region, using a combination of river and road transport. This assistance was distributed in cooperation with Handicap International, Solidarités International and CARE.

Zlatan Milisic, WFP Country Director in Mali said they're actively expanding their "logistics capacity to overcome access challenges in northern Mali," adding that the "next priority is to send more food to Kidal, hopefully in the next few days".

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″

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