Talk about military intervention in Mali must begin with consideration for the most vulnerable groups, particularly children, who are at risk of getting caught in the crossfire, warns World Vision.
The aid and development NGO is calling for all groups to keep the needs of the most vulnerable women and children first and foremost and to consider the humanitarian consequences of possible military operations.
This means, vitally, unimpeded access for humanitarian actors, and ensuring sufficient humanitarian assistance for children and their families.
More broadly, war and armed conflict is one of the biggest generators of poverty and displacement in the world today, critics of armed action point out.
"Mali is a country whose people are dealing with immense challenges from dire poverty, a food and nutrition crisis, and the political and security crises. We have seen hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes, especially women and children," said Chance Briggs. World Vision's national director in Mali.
"It would be intolerable to see further pain and suffering heaped on children and their families in Mali. They have enough to deal with in the past few months", she added
World Vision says it is actively monitoring the situation and is prepared to respond if there is any increase in humanitarian need, such as people displaced from their homes.
The organisation has been responding to the needs of displaced populations in Mali, both from the current drought and food crisis and the escalating violence by providing cash for work and food for work programmes, child nutrition feeding programmes, shelter, and water purification kits.
* World Vision: www.worldvision.org.uk