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Refugees From Mali Find Hope And Food

Refugees From Mali Find Hope And Food 1

A little girl crouches in the sand at the refugee camp near M'bera, Mauritania where between 60,000 and 70,000 refugees have come to escape the conflict in northern Mali.

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Arrivals to the camp are given a two-week ration of rice, salt, sugar, oil and a fortified mix of corn and soya called "Super Cereal".

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A group of children wait on the fringes of the distribution center at M'bera, where their parents have come to collect their rations.

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WFP is racing to stockpile food near M'bera before the rains begin and the sandy trails leading to the camp become impassable.

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Many people at the camp say that food had become increasingly scarce in northern Mali and that stores and markets were empty.

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Ali and his son Yusuf said it took them five days to reach the camp from their home in Mali. Ali was afraid that Yusuf, who is five years old, might have become malnourished along the way.

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Doctors at this clinic run by Medicins sans Frontieres said that children often arrive at M'bera suffering from malnutrition.

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Life is especially hard for children at M'bera, where temperatures during the day can climb as high as 50C/120F.

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Despite the difficult conditions, children at the camp are often to be found playing between the tents.

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New refugees are arriving at Mbera at a rate of between 600 to 1,000 per day. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that the camp's population will reach 70,000 by the end of May.

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In addition to heat, high winds are a constant at the M'Bera refugee camp where they fill the air with dust and turn the sky a deep shade of orange.

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M'bera refugee camp, Mauritania. While some refugees were able to bring a few animals with them, most of the camp's inhabitants were forced to leave their livestock at home in Mali.

Between 60,000 and 70,000 people have fled to the refugee camp in M'Bera, in Mauritania, to escape conflict and hunger across the border in Mali. Food provided by WFP offers a source of sustenance and hope as they wait to return home.