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Since early 2012, hundreds of thousands of Malians – mostly children and women – have fled fighting between armed insurgents and government forces in the north of the country, leaving them without homes, food or water. Some 227,206 people have so far sought shelter in southern Mali, while 142,900 people are now in refugee camps in neighbouring countries – including Burkina Faso and Niger.

Plan is working in communities hosting internally displaced people throughout Mali, providing child protection – such as creating child-friendly spaces. In total, there are 31 Plan spaces available for internally displaced children across Segou, Mopti and Timbuktu.

A child friendly space is an area, set up in camps after a crisis or disaster, which gives children a place to play, be safe, have a nutritious meal and receive much needed emotional care and attention to help them process their new surroundings and situation, supporting them to return to a feeling of normality.