The U.N. refugee agency is appealing for $186 million to protect and assist hundreds of thousands of civilians who have been forced to flee from escalating, increasingly brutal attacks from multiple armed groups in the volatile central Sahel region.
The agency reports attacks by Islamist extremists and criminal gangs in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have crippled life in the border towns and areas, and forced people to flee their homes multiple times.
Baloch said money from the 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 needs — food, water, shelter would be disastrous,” Baloch said.
Baloch said 3.1 million people in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Mauritania are in desperate need of humanitarian support.