Alongside the celebration of World Refugee Day and with the support of the UNHCR, IEDA Relief relieved the shelter concerns of four families who repatriated to Mali, and created an emergency stock of shelters at the Regional Directorate of Social Action in Ségou.
IEDA Relief, partner of the UNHCR in protection monitoring and profiling zones of return, opened its offices in the region of Ségou. As of 2015, Ségou is no longer part of the UNHCR’s priority action zone, so IEDA Relief has been working with its own funds for the past six months.
In this part of Northern Mali, Ségou forms part of the border with Mauritania and the populations who left at the height of the crisis are now trying to return, though tentatively. This situation is complicated by the actions of armed groups, which have resulted in the displacement of populations from Nampala and Niono. Facing having to close our operations in this region due to lack of funding, and amidst the celebration of World Refugee Day on June 20, IEDA Relief looked for funding from its national partners and was able to return smiles to the faces of two repatriated refugee families.
An IEDA Relief mission led by Epiphane Yelomé, Head of Protection and Programs, met with partners to announce the withdrawal of IEDA Relief from Ségou. From the Governor to the Director of the Academy of Education, to the Regional Directorate of the Promotion of Women and the Directorate of Social Action, people expressed their sadness that IEDA Relief is the last international organization to maintain an operation that has been supporting the response to this crisis since it began in 2013.
This visit allowed the Mission to help four repatriated families (20 people) from Mauritania in response to their need of shelter: two-family tents were given to them for their protection against the elements and for security.
In response to concerns of a possible humanitarian emergency because the city of Ségou and its surrounding areas suffer during the rainy season, a reserve of two-family tents was created at the Directorate of Social Action, which is in charge of the problems of displaced, returning, and repatriated populations. Before the distribution of the tents, IEDA Relief staff members briefly explained the importance of educating children and the dangers of early marriage.
The beneficiaries are originally from the region of Timbuktu and have chosen Ségou as a strategic stop to make sure of the level of security in their region of origin.
The Mission returned satisfied after a 24-hour stay, but with a concerns about fundraising for these vulnerable people.