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Humanitarian situation in Mali deteriorates rapidly: UN agency

07-27-2012 08:45 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The UN humanitarian arm has reported that the situation in Mali is getting worse rapidly, calling for fundamental changes to avert a humanitarian disaster in the country, a UN spokesman told reporters here on Thursday.

"John Ging, the director of operations at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has said the humanitarian situation in Mali is deteriorating rapidly because of an inadequate response," Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesperson for UN secretary-general, at a daily briefing.

According to the spokesman, Ging has just finished a three-day visit to Mali, where severe food insecurity, malnutrition, large- scale population displacement and widespread insecurity have led to a serious humanitarian crisis in the country.

"The situation in Mali is desperate, but not hopeless," del Buey quoted Ging as saying.

OCHA believes that fundamental changes need to be made in the way the humanitarian response is funded in order to avoid a disaster, said the spokesman.

In Mali, over 4.5 million people are currently affected by the food security crisis, he added.

Mali is among the most severely affected by the food and nutrition crisis raging across the drought-stricken Sahel region, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, including Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria. Conflicts between rebel Tuareg groups and government forces in the northern part of Mali has further exacerbated the situation, forcing more than 20,000 residents to flee their homes.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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