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CRS Uses Debit Cards to Provide Assistance in Mali

February 13, 2013 by

While French and Malian troops have regained most of northern Mali’s territory from extremist rebels who seized it last year, thousands who fled the violence are in dire need of assistance. CRS has helped those who fled to the country’s capital, Bamako, with monthly cash distributions so they can meet their most immediate needs.

Eighteen-year-old Djélika Haïdara was pregnant when she left Mali’s storied city of Timbuktu after the rebels arrived. Her son Ousame is now 5 months old. They live in rented rooms in Bamako with 20 other family members. CRS helps her, and thousands of others in Bamako, by giving them debit cards that provide with $16 per person per month, used to pay for food, rent and medical expenses.

As of February 2013, more than 227,000 people have been displaced within Mali due to the conflict. Another 143,000 more have fled to neighboring countries like Burkina Faso and Niger, where CRS assist them with food, shelter and clothes.

Djélika Haïdara and her 5-month-old son Ousmane, shown here with a neighbor’s daughter, now live in Mali’s capital, Bamako, where they rent rooms with 20 other family members. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

Djélika Haïdara and her 5-month-old son Ousmane, shown here with a neighbor’s daughter, now live in Mali’s capital, Bamako, where they rent rooms with 20 other family members. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

The pre-paid debit cards distributed by CRS are a lifeline for Djélika: she is able to pay rent, buy food and meet other urgent needs. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

The pre-paid debit cards distributed by CRS are a lifeline for Djélika: she is able to pay rent, buy food and meet other urgent needs. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

Djélika gets ready to use her debit card at one of Bamako’s cash machines. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

Djélika gets ready to use her debit card at one of Bamako’s cash machines. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

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