• 7.1 million people; around 32% of the total population are in need of humanitarian assistance in Mali

  • Menaka region alone registered 4690 new IDPs in the last week

  • IRC calls for greater access to urgently needed humanitarian aid

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is drawing attention to the worsening humanitarian situation in several regions of Mali, particularly Ménaka. In the last week of January 2024, the IRC recorded over 4,690 people arriving from localities on the outskirts of Menaka due to continuing violence. 

In addition to this massive influx of displaced people, the town of Ménaka has been experiencing access problems since December 2023. Prices for basic food items have soared, markets are empty and the few that remain are struggling to cater for the new arrivals and host communities. The scarcity or absence of flights to bring food and medicine to Ménaka only exacerbates the crisis. The influx of displaced people is putting additional pressure on existing resources. 

Matias Meier, IRC Country Director for Mali, said: 

"The humanitarian situation in Mali continues to worsen, with over 7.1 million people in need of assistance. The IRC is working on the front line, providing essential support to the hardest-hit communities. With the current situation in Ménaka, people need everything, starting with the most basic human needs such as water, food, shelter, adequate sanitation, but also because of the particularities of the situation, the protection risks for women, girls and children are of great concern to us. 

 "Faced with the current situation, the IRC is conducting visits to the reception site and teams are counting the number of displaced people who have arrived. The IRC, in close collaboration with all its partners, continues to provide assistance to displaced people and host communities in Ménaka." 

The high concentration of people in one place is creating health, food, hygiene, and protection needs. The most vulnerable, including women and children, are exposed to various forms of abuse. This is a disastrous humanitarian situation. Rapid humanitarian action is needed to support the people of Ménaka.

IRC calls on the authorities and the international community to act by funding the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to better support the most vulnerable populations hardest hit by conflict.  In 2023, the Mali HRP was only 30% funded meaning millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance were left without lifesaving aid. The IRC also calls for humanitarian corridors to be set up to enable the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid. 

Faced with so many challenges, the IRC, as lead of the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) in Ménaka, is continuing its emergency assistance to the growing number of displaced people in the region and more generally in northern and central Mali. In 2023, the IRC supported more than 310,000 people affected by the direct or indirect effects of the conflict. We are also carrying out additional activities in response to the nutritional and food crisis in several regions such as Ménaka, Gao and Nara.