To assist nearly 1 million people in Mali’s northern and central regions, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) launched a large-scale food and nutrition intervention. Under this initiative, families will receive vouchers to procure their preferred food items from local markets.
In some particularly vulnerable regions like Gao, Menaka, Mopti and Timbuktu, the emergency food assistance will be complemented with nutrition services.
Fortified blended flour will be provided to children under the age of 2, while pregnant women will receive commodity vouchers and soap to meet their nutritional needs.
The assistance would be provided in support of the Government National Response Plan. It targets internally displaced persons, refugees, returnees, and vulnerable families from July to September – when stocks are low between harvests and families struggle to survive with little food.
“We are deeply concerned about the continued deterioration of the food security and nutrition situation in Mali,” says Mamadou Mbaye, WFP’s Country Representative and Director in Mali. “WFP will spare no effort in supporting the most vulnerable groups during the lean season.”
It may be mentioned here that the armed conflicts, frequent droughts, violence, insecurity, population displacement and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have adversely affected the food and nutrition situation of an estimated 5 million people in Mali.
In line with the government’s COVID-19 preventive measures, arrangements have been made to ensure the safety of staff, partners and beneficiaries. Handwashing stations and temperature checkpoints have been set up at food distribution sites. Distributions will be extended over several days in order to avoid on-site congestion.
This initiative is financially supported by the governments of Mali, France, Japan and the US.