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Save the Children: 80,000 children trapped, running out of food in blockaded Mali town

Save the Children International (SCI), a charity organisation, says armed groups have trapped about 140,000 people, including over 80,000 children, in Menaka town, Mali.

In a statement on Wednesday, SCI said the trapped people are facing malnutrition and disease as supplies have reached “critically low levels”.

“Without aid arriving to these communities, there is the potential for total collapse of livelihoods and large-scale deaths in coming months,” the statement reads.

Siaka Ouattara, SCI country director in Mali, called on actors to allow unfettered humanitarian access to populations who are in dire need of assistance in the town.

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The charity organisation added that government and aid groups are only able to deliver a very limited amount of food, medicines, and other essential items.

It said nearly a third of the trapped children (33,600) have already fled fighting in other parts of the country and are staying in temporary shelters in camps and with host families.

SCI said it was able to gather its findings during a rare chance to get into the town to carry out a week-long needs assessment and had its staff trapped there for three weeks.

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