Baraka Petroleum Limited has been working with the government of Mali recently to provide emergency famine assistance for stricken communities in the West African country. The exploration-focused company’s assistance package included 1,200 bags containing 30 tonnes of rice and 30t of corn, which was provided to areas near Timbuktu in the northern region of Mali. Baraka administration manager Corrine Perrin, who coordinated the donation with the company’s Mali office, said she travelled to Timbuktu recently and saw the suffering of people in the area. “The health conditions were really bad,” she said. “I sought advice from people in the Mali government to see how we could help. “In Mali alone, some 1.1 million people will need food aid this year.” Ms Perrin said Baraka was linked closely with Mali, not only in the development of its oil and gas industry, but also in assisting with the health and wellbeing of its people. “We decided to get advice from locals on how much [aid] they needed,” she said. “We put [the advice we received] in front of the Baraka board and they agreed to offer assistance.” Ms Perrin said she coordinated the donation with the Mali Children’s Foundation through its president Touré Lobbo Traoré, the wife of the president of Mali. “We are confident that the food aid will get to the people we want to give it to,” she said. “We buy the rice and corn on site in Mali. The company and the board only paid for the cereals and the bags.” Ms Perrin said the Children’s Foundation had committed funding for transport of the aid to the target region. “It is important to assist with the country in which we operate,” she said. “Hopefully our work will make other companies realise that providing food aid to these countries is possible.” Baraka will continue to monitor the situation in Mali and look for additional ways to provide assistance to the famine relief program. The formal presentation of the donation to the Mali Children’s Foundation was made in late November at a ceremony in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Transport of the donation to the target area will take place in December. Baraka has five production sharing agreements (PSAs) within Mali’s five major sedimentary basins, which covers 193,000 square kilometres. In October, Baraka confirmed its intention to progress exploration of its five blocks within the Taoudeni Basin region of Mali through commit-ting to a $US3.7 million airborne survey. The commitment followed a positive assessment of the blocks during the first exploration period of the PSAs.
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