West Africa: UNHCR Appeals Funds for Sahel Displaced Persons
The United Nations Refugee Agency is soliciting for about $186 million
to protect and assist hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in
Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Mauritania who have been forced to
flee from their homes as a result of consistent brutal attacks from
multiple armed groups in the volatile central Sahel region.
According to the agency report, more than 3 million, including 831,000
refugees have been displaced in the region by the uncomfortable
activities of Islamist extremists and criminal gangs in these three
countries, thus making the Sahel, one of the fastest-growing
displacement crises in the world, and causing a cripple in the area.
All Africa.com reports that the UNHCR spokesman, Babar Baloch stated
that the continuous and indiscriminate attacks on innocent people are
unfathomable. “These horrible accounts or incidents include summary
executions, the widespread use of rape against women, and attacks
against state institutions, including public infrastructures like
schools and health facilities. This is a very troubling and tragic
trend that we have seen unfolding in the Sahel region. It is very
difficult to understand it.”
“Displaced families live in overcrowded sites where access to basic
services is minimal. With this displacement, the unfortunate citizens
of those areas arrived in impoverished communities without any
belongings, and they are welcomed by local people, who themselves live
hand-to-mouth. The escalating insecurity is hampering the delivery of
humanitarian aid”, Baloch added.
“This appeal is a critical lifeline for all these people on the run
and for the communities hosting them. If we do not get enough support,
the consequences on the ground for these people in terms of basic
amenities such as food, water, shelter would be disastrous.
Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Mauritania are the major countries
involved and are in desperate need of humanitarian support.