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Photo of the week: Refugees from Mali, seeking a safe haven

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Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

Pablo Tosco’s photo of a girl lifting a water jug shows the reality of life for thousands of Malian refugees living in Mentao camp, Burkina Faso.

Since January of last year, more than 370,000 civilians—many of them women and children—have fled northern Mali, with 142,000 finding refuge in neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger, and an additional 228,000 displaced in southern Mali.

With the recent escalation of the conflict in Mali, the already dire situation for tens of thousands of Malians could get much worse, according to an Oxfam report published earlier this week. “We call on countries neighboring Mali to continue to keep their borders open to allow refugees a safe haven, and for the UN to show the leadership that is needed to deal with the impact of this conflict on Malian refugees and their hosts,” said Oxfam West Africa regional director Mamadou Biteye.

Oxfam is also providing humanitarian assistance to those displaced by the conflict. Although access to those in need within Mali is limited, we are providing aid to nearly 60,000 people in Mali’s Gao region. And in neighboring Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger, we are aiding 150,000 refugees and the people struggling to host them. Find out how you can support our efforts.

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