STAMFORD, Conn., Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Medicines and water purification supplies from AmeriCares have arrived in Mali, where they will help tens of thousands of people suffering from an escalating food crisis and a recent cholera outbreak. AmeriCares sent medical aid for 15,000 patients, as well as enough P&G water purification packets (formerly known as PUR packets) to provide clean water for 25,000 people.
Drought and internal conflict have caused critical hunger in the Sahel region of West Africa which spans Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. One-quarter of Mali's population – 3.7 million people – are affected by severe food shortages. The situation is exacerbated by a recent cholera outbreak and civil conflict. Across the region, more than 425,000 people have been forced out of their homes, many into refugee camps, where disease and malnutrition are rampant.
AmeriCares medicines and supplies arrived in Mali today on a humanitarian aid flight carrying 156,394 pounds of relief supplies coordinated by the global logistics company UPS. The AmeriCares products will be used by the International Organization for Migration, which is providing medical care and distributing relief supplies to families in Mali affected by the crisis.
"Malnourished children and adults are very susceptible to infectious disease and face an even greater risk of contracting deadly diarrheal diseases from unclean water," said AmeriCares Medical Director Dr. Frank Bia. "Our medicines and supplies will potentially save thousands of lives."
AmeriCares responded to the drought and severe food shortages in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia in 2011, providing more than $2 million in water purification supplies, nutritional supplements and medical aid. The organization has been delivering aid to Mali since 2004, and has been responding to natural disasters and civil conflicts around the world for 30 years.
AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization that delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need around the world and across the United States. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $10 billion in humanitarian aid to 164 countries. For more information, visit americares.org.