From the field - Northern Mali on the edge

Northern Mali on the edge - Fleeing unrest in Gao - Photo courtesy of Reuters/Joe Penney

Northern Mali on the edge - Fleeing unrest in Gao - Photo courtesy of Reuters/Joe Penney

The crisis affecting northern Mali since mid-January has made it difficult for the population to obtain health care, water and food.

Violence and looting have severely hampered relief operations, including those of the ICRC, and humanitarian work in the region is a major challenge. 

A few weeks after our northern Mali offices and warehouses were looted and most staff was evacuated, our colleagues in Mali itself and across the Sahel region are striving to meet some of the most acute needs of a population in dire need of aid. Tens of thousands of displaced people have not yet received any assistance.

Jurg Eglin is head of the ICRC regional delegation in Mali and Niger. He describes a desperate situations for civilians in northern Mali, the humanitarian efforts already underway and the challenges ahead.