GENEVA, Switzerland, March 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Malian regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal are now hosting nearly 196,000 returnees and 107,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and are in need of urgent need of humanitarian aid, according to IOM displacement tracking data.
IOM’s displacement tracking matrix shows that access to basic services such as water and primary healthcare, as well as shelter and income generation, are now major concerns.
Demand for already scarce resources has been exacerbated by the return of people displaced by conflict in 2012 and 2013. “People are continuing to return and communities in the north now need immediate emergency support in order to avoid secondary displacement,” says IOM mali Chief of Mission Bakary Doumbia.
IOM data shows that more northern IDPs are returning home from the south and the number of IDPs in the north is continuing to fall. More Malians are also returning from neighboring countries, where they fled to escape the conflict.
IDP tracking and monitoring activities act as an early warning system for potential future displacement. They also help the government and humanitarian agencies to better understand the needs of returnees and to incorporate village assessment data in planning.
The data indicates that communities desperately need access to basic services. There is a need to rehabilitate and construct water points and to establish mobile clinics to provide essential primary healthcare services.
Shelter packages, non-food relief items and income generation schemes are also needed to ensure that most vulnerable returnees have a minimum standard of living.
“IOM needs USD 10 million to address humanitarian needs in northern mali and to provide emergency assistance to the IDPs, returnees and host families,” notes Doumbia.