Humanitarian Relief "SAHEL 2012"

The Sahel Region of Burkina Faso is going through two major crises since the beginning of the year 2012. The first one is the food crisis that had been predicted since the end of the past rainy season with its very low precipitation. This situation has been aggravated by the influx from Mali, consisting of nearly twenty five thousand (25.000) refugees as consequence of the Tuareg rebellion going on in the neighboring country. In view of such a serious humanitarian crisis, the Austrian NGO HOPE’87 decided, after an in-depth field assessment in the refugee camps of Mentao and Damba (Soum Province), to lend a hand by providing a first emergency humanitarian relief to the refugees.

Altogether, 18 tons of rice, 200 liters of cooking oil, 200 kilos of salt, 300 kilos of milk powder and 800 bars of soap were distributed in Camp Mentao. This is equivalent to a 30 days food stock for 200 most vulnerable households, i.e. about 1.600 people. The beneficiaries were selected in the camps of North Mentao, Central Mentao, and South Mentao, in cooperation with the representatives and leaders of the refugees’community who actively took part in the distribution.

HOPE’87 acted in coordination with the Regional and Provincial Authorities of Soum, located in the town of Djibo, the Haut Commissaire, the Prefect of Djibo and the ‘‘Direction Régionale de l’Action Sociale’’ – the local administration of the Ministère de l’Action Sociale et de la Solidarité Nationale, in charge of social issues as well as all refugee matters.  HOPE’87 is in regular contact with UNHCR coordinating the relief activities of all stakeholders.

At the same time HOPE’87 started to organise for the distribution of 2 million water purification tablets at Camp Damba. This activity will start in a few days, again in cooperation with the representatives of the refugee community.

On Thursday 29th of March 2012, Her Excellency Dr (Ms) Ute Ohoven, UNESCO Special Ambassador and President of the UNESCO Foundation– Education for Children in Need, accompanied by Mr. Robert Ottitsch Secretary General of HOPE’87 visited the refugee camps of Mentao in order to witness the start of the delivery of the humanitarian aid. 

Deeply moved by the fate of the refugee and especially the children, Ambassador Ohoven announced to start a Germany-wide donation campaign in order to finance more relieve activities for the Tuareg refugees. 

HOPE’87 would like to express its gratitude to the UNESCO Foundation- Education for Children in Need for financing the first relief goods as well as the organization “Apotheker Helfen e.V.” (“Pharmacists Help”, the charity organization of the Bavarian pharmacists) for providing water purification tablets free of charge for Camp Damba.