Heavy rains beginning on August 24 and continuing for weeks brought widespread flooding to the West African country of Mali. The Humanitarian Coalition, through member agency Islamic Relief Canada and with support from the Canadian government, is responding to the most pressing needs of people in Nara, the hardest hit region of the country.
The flooding in Nara has destroyed homes, submerged and contaminated latrines and wells, ruined millet crops and damaged a health centre. As is generally the case in disaster situations, those most affected and most vulnerable include children, women, older persons and people with disabilities. The most pressing needs include food, non-food items, water disinfectant products, temporary shelters, school supplies and clothing for children.
Islamic Relief is responding by helping people access basic household items through cash grants for the most vulnerable flood-affected families. This enables people to purchase for themselves what they need the most, from shelter materials to cooking supplies to medication. IR is also providing hygiene kits that include the items that people have identified as most important. They will be conducting community sessions in best hygiene practices, as well as sensitizing the population around gender-based violence and child protection issues.
Zaid Al-Rawni, CEO of Islamic Relief Canada, says, “This assistance will help people survive a humanitarian crisis, while also providing training and skills to communities to lift them out of poverty. We are thankful for the support of Canadians through the Humanitarian Coalition and the Canadian government that makes this project possible.”
In the case of humanitarian crises that affect a relatively small population or receive limited media attention, such as the flooding in Mali, Global Affairs Canada supports the Humanitarian Coalition’s response through the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund (CHAF). CHAF funding has so far enabled life-saving assistance to people affected by some 50 disasters in 31 countries.