The initial news media reports from Mali gave a worrying picture of the situation for cultural heritage in the northern provinces and especially Timbuktu. Most recent media and independent reports indicate that almost all of the cultural and intellectual heritage, including manuscripts, is safe. IFLA is a founding member of the Blue Shield, whose mission is to work for the protection of the world's cultural heritage, including in the event of armed conflict, and coordinates preparations to meet and respond to emergency situations.

IFLA is working with Blue Shield colleagues on assessing the situation in Mali and will provide information to the library community on the evolving status of the situation as it is officially verified and confirmed. The IFLA PAC Office is assisting in liaising with the Blue Shield secretariat.