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Civilians from the North Become Refugees in South Mali as They Flee Escalating Conflict and the UK Announces Further Placement of UK Military Personnel

Charity World Vision calls for international leaders to uphold international humanitarian laws in Mali, as government troops clash with rebel groups, and children are left most vulnerable.

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, January 18, 2013 --( World Vision calls on UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to help refugees take safe passage, as the UK government makes public the deployment of technical military staff to support the Malian government in growing conflict in the North and West of Mali.

From World Vision Mali, Just Douglas states that essential emergency supplies will be delivered to the worst affected over the next few days, beginning to help 9,400 desperate families - mainly made up of vulnerable women and children.

There are almost 21,000 children sponsored by World Vision supporters in the affected area of Koro city in the Mopti region and World Vision is now working on what has become the front line between Mali government forces (aided by French troops) and Islamist rebels.

Justin Douglass reports that although “…work is difficult because the situation is worsening and changing all the time,” the charity is reaching different areas on different days and aiming to ensure that aid is distributed to as many people as possible. This includes providing psychological support for children who have been touched by the violence and setting up emergency food distribution points.

World Vision Mali Director, Chance Briggs, has called on local and international governments to uphold humanitarian law, in particular for UK and French governments to protect vulnerable children and families as they move from one area of the country to another, under threat of harm.

World Vision volunteers are also giving training door to door and at Muslim and Christian places of worship on safety under conflict, from warning children against playing with military ordnance such as weapons or shrapnel to advising parents to stock up on one month’s worth of food, in case the situation worsens.

A convergence of different problems underpins this complex emergency, which is now affecting almost 5 million Mali people, including food shortages, drought and rebel-government fighting – which is leading to increased pressure on Southern Mali as people flee the North. Approximately 90% of the country lives in South Mali, meaning resources will be strained by the influx of refugees and the tense situation will continue to deteriorate.
Contact Information
World Vision UK
Nadene Robertson
+447889 631 613

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