As fighting escalates in Mali, the Red Cross is making efforts to restore contact between families that have been displaced by the conflict.
In the UK, the British Red Cross works to re-establish links between Malian nationals living in the UK and their loved ones affected by the fighting in the West African country.
“The security situation in Mali is volatile as thousands have been forced to leave their homes with no news of their loved ones,” said Nev Jefferies, the British Red Cross head of international tracing and message services (ITMS).
"Our colleagues in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and regional Red Cross national societies are assisting Malians to restore contact and reunite. We too in the British Red Cross can help people in the UK to reconnect with their families affected by the fighting," he added.
The international tracing and message services (ITMS) is a unique, free and confidential service, which works to help people re-establish contact with their families across the world through the well-established international network of Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies.
As a neutral and non-political organisation, the Red Cross has been able to access certain regions of Mali affected by the fighting that other aid agencies have challenges in reaching.
The conflict has displaced over 380,000 people internally and outside Mali, according to UN figures.
Jefferies continued: “In spite of the difficulties that may arise to reach certain affected areas, we deliver a secure, impartial and confidential service. Our teams will also help you regardless of religion, clan, or political persuasion.”
Those who would like to enquire about the free ITMS services may visit the British Red Cross offices across the country, or visit its website http://www.redcross.org.uk/trace for further details.