GENEVA, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- A United Nations humanitarian official said Wednesday that UN and its humanitarian partners have had access back into central Mali and are looking for broader access throughout north Mali.
David Gressly, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator of Sahel with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters that some 500,000 people in northern Mali that are food insecure need the assistance.
"So we are working now to make that reality," he said.
Looking forward to the future, Gressly said that Mali, in general, will be accessible, but stressed that it will be a different kind of operating environment and they need to be prepared for insecurity in different parts of Mali.
Besides, OCHA is also concerned about the protection of civilians on the ground and it's important to have humanitarian monitors on the ground to assess the validity of the allegations of human rights abuses, he said.
Some 30,000 people have been newly displaced by the ongoing military intervention, and more than 4.3 million Malians need humanitarian aid, according to OCHA.