The psychological needs of the children here remain enormous. This kind of psychological torture of the most vulnerable children is just incomprehensible.
Unfortunately, the attack on Ogossagou is part of a dramatic, wider trend. Since the last half of 2018, there has been an unprecedented deterioration of central Mali's humanitarian situation. Grave violations against children, including killing and maiming, attacks, and threats on schools and teachers, as well as sexual and gender-based violence, are all on the increase.
But beyond grave violations, there is a slow burn crisis happening as well. Food prices are rising, insecurity is forcing schools to close and is compromising access to health centers, and displacement of the most vulnerable families is accelerating.
In short, the crisis in central Mali impacts all aspects of children's lives -- jeopardizing their right to safety, protection, health, and education.
Despite these acute needs, the crisis in Mali remains one of the least funded in the world. UNICEF has a team of 20 in Mopti, in the Niger Delta region of Mali.
The children of Mali have enormous potential to become agents of positive change, builders of a Mali, which is peaceful, cohesive, and economically competitive. But to play this role, they need protection, safety, healthcare, and education. We mustn't let them down.