Mali conflict sparks fears of humanitarian crisis

January 18, 2013

"The UN has said it is able to get access to Mopti from Timbuktu by water, but that Konna as well as Gao and Kidal further in the north remain inaccessible to humanitarian operations. Other humanitarian organisations, including Plan Mali, Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger) and Christian Aid say they have withdrawn all staff from the area affected by conflict and have been forced to suspend operations. 'Action Contre la Faim has had to temporarily suspend its programmes in the Gao region,' the organisation said in a statement. 'We are concerned about the consequences of this fighting for a population already vulnerable not only where combat is taking place, but also in the north, which is becoming more and more isolated.' There are also growing concerns about civilian casualties, details of which remain difficult to obtain."