Expanding IDP emergency relief in Mali
Plan has announced that it is making arrangements to expand IDP emergency relief operations in the central town of Mopti, Mali.
Emergency Response Manager, Christophe Mvogo, who briefed the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Baroness Valerie Amos, on Plan’s work among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) said he was extremely concerned about the welfare of children remaining in the north.
“We have learned from our partners in northern Mali that militants are recruiting children to work as soldiers, minesweepers, scouts, spies, messengers, look-outs, cooks and sexual slaves,” he said after a business meeting with Baroness Amos and other international NGOs during her second day in the country.
“We are extremely concerned about this as it goes against every international child rights convention and law and we are hoping that Baroness Amos will be successful in pressing for the militants to stop using children in their fight,” he added.
Mvogo said that hundreds of children have fled to Mopti and he expected that hundreds more will arrive if fresh fighting breaks out. Plan will be focusing on psychosocial work with children traumatized by the fighting, child protection and education.
“Many of children have been terrified by the sounds of guns which they never heard before, others have witnessed gruesome violence and others related how girls and women were taken from their homes, never to be heard from again. We need to provide psychosocial support for them and to help them overcome their nightmares and fears and to reassure them that they are safe now,” said Mvogo.
Schools in the north have been closed by Islamic militants who consider them to be indoctrination tools of western countries.
Plan is currently working with IDPs in and around Bamako, Kati, and Segou.
Those in Kita and Sanankoroba have received cash to purchase food and household supplies. Those in Bamako and Mopti have received food (cereals, sugar, oil, salt, milk) and supplies (blankets, batteries, battery power lamps, mosquito nets).
Plan has also provided support for catch-up classes to prepare IDP children in Segou for exams.
Learn more about Plan's work in Mali