A shipment of urgently-needed emergency medical aid and water purification sachets is being readied for shipment to Mali, to help reduce human suffering amid an escalating crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa.
The devastating food crisis—sparked by drought, high grain prices, and chronic poverty—has affected more than 18 million people in one of the world’s most underdeveloped regions. Armed conflict in Mali has worsened the situation, forcing more than 160,000 people to flee to other parts of the region. An estimated 3.7 million people in Mali are considered severely food insecure.
Children under the age of five are especially at risk, with more than one million children in the region – including Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger —facing severe acute malnutrition.
“Acute malnutrition weakens immune systems and greatly increases risk of disease,” said Dr. Frank Bia, Medical Director at AmeriCares. “In crowded refugee camps, disease can spread like wildfire. This delivery of antibiotics and other basic medicines will help save lives.”
As the numbers of displaced and malnourished continue to rise, countless lives still hang in the balance. Help AmeriCares continue to help people suffering in Mali and throughout the world →
The current emergency response shipment includes:
- Water purification to help 25,000 people: 2.5 million units of Procter & Gamble’s Purifier of Water will be delivered to our partner for distribution in camps and communities over a period of 4-6 months. Access to clean water remains a challenge for families living in the drought-ravaged south and remote north of the country. Water treated with the Purifier greatly reduces the risk of diarrheal diseases that can be deadly for children and adults already weakened by malnutrition.
- Medicines to treat 15,000 people: An Emergency Medical Module, including crucial medicines and supplies will help medical teams deliver primary health care to 15,000 sick and injured people. The delivery will make a life-saving difference to thousands of people living in camps and communities where access to basic health care is dangerously scarce.
AmeriCares has a long history of delivering aid to help people affected by drought and food insecurity. In 2011, AmeriCares launched a large scale response to drought and famine in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, delivering more than $2 million in aid, including nutritional supplements, medicines, water purification tablets, and medical supplies. AmeriCares began working in Mali in 2004, assisting national efforts to control trachoma with shipments of antibiotics and surgical supplies. Learn more about our work in Mali here.