Red Cross starts Northern Mali aid operation
The Red Cross has started an aid operation to bring food supplies to 160,000 people in northern Mali affected by drought and internal strife.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday "people in the north are no longer able to meet their basic food needs" following a poor 2011 crop season and the political conflict.
It says it will hand out rice, semolina and beans to the most vulnerable, and seeds will be distributed to some 40,000 farmers to boost food production.
After a coup ousted Mali's government in March, Tuareg rebels took control of the north but have been driven out by Islamist rebels who want to impose Shariah law. An estimated 300,000 people have fled the region.
The U.S. released $10 million to assist the refugees last week.