The Red Cross warned Wednesday of growing humanitarian difficulties in Mali, where violence resurged last month between insurgents and the military.
"The humanitarian consequences of the armed violence in the north of the country, combined with difficult weather conditions, are hitting civilians hard," said Christophe Luedi, head of the ICRC delegation in Mali.
"It's very hard for people to get enough to eat without outside help, or to earn what they need simply for their families to survive. If this situation persists, the result could be even greater dependence on humanitarian aid. The renewed outbreak of violence over the past few days can only exacerbate the situation."
The election of Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last month brought with it hopes for a return to calm and democracy after 18 months of political chaos and violent unrest.
But clashes between rebel Tuareg group the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Malian army in the northern city of Kidal erupted just days after peace talks between the rebels and the government broke down.
So far this year, the Red Cross has distributed food aid to over half a million people in Kidal, the other northern cities of Timbuktu and Gao and the central town of Mopti, many of whom were displaced by the conflict, to "help people meet their most urgent food needs and also regain some measure of self-reliance," the organisation said in a statement.
It has also distributed seed for crops and animal feed to farmers and livestock herders.
While livestock were "suffering from a lack of water and grazing resources" in some parts of Mali, several thousand people had been hard hit by flooding in August during Africa's rainy season in other areas, the Red Cross added.
Last year Mali was upended by a separatist rebellion and coup that toppled the elected president and allowed Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters to occupy the north before being ousted by a French-led military intervention.
The MNLA, which seeks autonomy for northern Mali -- which it calls Azawad -- took control of Kidal in February but the Malian authorities later reclaimed the city under a fragile ceasefire agreement.