UPS flies tonnes of aid to Malian refugees in Mauritania

News Stories, 4 June 2012

© UNHCR/Y.Djigo
Malian refugees at Mbera camp in Mauritania.

GENEVA, June 4 (UNHCR) The global package delivery company, UPS, flew some 13 tonnes of UNHCR aid items to Mauritania at the weekend for distribution to some 10,000 Malians in the Mbera refugee camp.

A UPS Boeing 767 cargo plane landed in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott on Sunday carrying the aid items for UNHCR as well as vital relief supplies for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP). It left earlier in the day from Copenhagen in Denmark.

The airlift of UNHCR aid included rolls of plastic sheeting, jerry cans, mosquito nets and sleeping mats. These will be delivered to refugees in the Mbera camp, which lies some 60 kilometres from the Mauritania-Mali border and currently hosts more than 64,000 refugees.

"The aid flown in by UPS is most appreciated," Yacoub El Hillo, director of UNHCR's Middle East and North Africa Bureau, said on Monday.

UPS is covering all the costs of the transportation as part of a commitment to help the victims of the Mali displacement crisis. The United States-based company has been a UNHCR corporate partner since 2010, transporting mattresses for refugees in Tunisia and helping the refugee agency move a travelling photo exhibit to cities around the world.

More than 300,000 people have fled their homes in Mali since fighting erupted in January between a rebel Tuareg movement and Malian government forces. Families have found refuge in safer areas of Mali or in the neighbouring countries of Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. Many face harsh conditions due to food and water shortages affecting the arid Sahel region.

UNHCR is on the ground providing life-saving assistance, including shelter, food, water and health care, and has airlifted thousands of family tents and tonnes of survival kits.

But the refugee agency urgently needs more funding to help the tens of thousands of Malian refugees in need, mainly women and children. Last week, UNHCR said it needed US$153.7 million to fund its emergency operation this year in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. In February, it had called on donors for US$35.6 million to cover the period up to July 2012.

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

UNHCR country pages

Mali Crisis: Urgent Appeal

More than 300,000 Malians have been forced to abandon homes in the hope of finding safety. Help us protect them.

Donate to this crisis

UNHCR Mauritania Fact Sheet

(French only, available on UNHCR's French website)

Malian refugees flee for safety to Niger

Thousands of Malian families have arrived in Niger since mid-January, fleeing fighting between a rebel Tuareg movement and Malian government forces in northern Mali. Refugees are living in makeshift settlements along the border, exposed to the sun and wind by day, and cold at night. UNHCR has started distributing relief assistance and is planning to open camps in safer areas further away from the border. UNHCR's Helene Caux met with some the refugees who all expressed their desire to return to their country once peace prevails.

Malian refugees flee for safety to Niger

Malians still fleeing to Niger

Malian refugees continue to arrive in Niger, fleeing fighting and general insecurity and political instability in their country. At the Mangaizé refugee site in northern Niger, some 3,000 refugees live in difficult conditions, bearing soaring temperatures during the day and wondering when they will be able to return home. The scarce water and food resources in the arid Sahel country also present a huge challenge for the refugees and local communities. More than 40,000 Malians have found refuge in Niger since January, when fighting erupted between a rebel Tuareg movement and Malian government forces. More than 160,000 Malians have arrived in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, while 133,000 are displaced within their country. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres visited Niger, including Mangaizé, in early May with World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin to help focus world attention on the crisis and to seek help for the displaced.

Malians still fleeing to Niger

Barbara Hendricks visits Malian refugees in Burkina Faso

UNHCR Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Hendricks met with Malian refugees in Damba Camp on July 6, 2012, in northern Burkina Faso. The acclaimed soprano is using the visit to highlight the plight of tens of thousands of refugees who have fled from conflict in their country this year and are living in camps or settlements in neighbouring countries. As of early July, more than 198,000 Malians had fled to Mauritania (88,825), Burkina Faso (65,009) and Niger (44,987). At least 160,000 were estimated to be displaced within Mali, most in the north.

Barbara Hendricks visits Malian refugees in Burkina Faso

Mauritania: Mali Elections In Mauritania Play video

Mauritania: Mali Elections In Mauritania

Hundreds of Malian refugees voted in exile at the weekend in the presidential election in their home country, way down on the numbers eligible to cast a ballot.
Mali: Going Back Home Play video

Mali: Going Back Home

A trickle of displaced Malians undertake the journey back to their towns and villages.
Mali: Waiting to ReturnPlay video

Mali: Waiting to Return

After spending months in the central Mali town of Mopti, hundreds of displaced families are anxious to go back to their homes in the north. But security is still a concern.