MALI – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Government of Sweden have signed a four-year programme to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities affected by food insecurity, malnutrition, and the effects of climate change in Mali.
With a US$23 million contribution from Sweden and building on the expertise of the three UN agencies, the project will help improve the food and nutritional security of 144,800 people, particularly women and children.
This objective will be achieved through sustainable agriculture support, creation, and rehabilitation of community assets, such as developing hallows for fish production.
Also, the program will provide improved stoves and fuel briquettes made from plant and animal waste, and improve access to water and health services.
Richard Bomboma, Head of Cooperation for Sweden in Mali attested to the fact that, strengthening resilience for food security and nutrition for the most vulnerable people requires a multisectoral and integrated approach.
“In this project our multi-year partnership with the three UN-agencies will enable addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability and contribute to sustainable and nutritious food systems.
“In addition, this is an important project that addresses the six thematic perspectives of Sweden development cooperation: poverty reduction, human rights, gender equality, conflict-sensitivity, environment, climate change and resilience,” said Bomboma.
The local communities of Segou and Sikasso are among the main actors of this project with emphasis put on the active participation of women.
They will directly be involved in implementing, and monitoring project activities and will also be equipped and sensitized on good nutrition and hygiene practices.
Mansour N’Diaye, FAO Representative in Mali, ”FAO is committed with all partners to support project beneficiaries to strengthen their resilience, preserve natural resources and biodiversity affected by climate change.
“We will jointly use the tools to enhance social cohesion and reduce conflicts within agricultural activities to achieve a better productivity, a better environment, better nutrition and better living conditions for the beneficiaries of this project.”
To ensure sustainability, the project will connect emergency response to development initiatives within the triple Nexus of peace, humanitarian, and development.
Sylvie FOUET, UNICEF’s Representative in Mali said, ”We look forward to seeing an improvement in people’s ability to prepare, prevent and respond to the impact of crisis and shocks, including climate change, to ensure a better future for every girl and every boy. By coming together, we can maximize our impact for the people of Mali.”
Meanwhile, Gambia has received US$1.5m support from WFP to provide nutrition response to 40,000 vulnerable food insecure people.
With this contribution WFP will provide fortified blended foods to malnourished children under 5, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, and mothers living with HIV to address moderate acute malnutrition.
WFP will also support nutrition education and awareness raising to increase the knowledge and skills of caregivers, mothers, adolescent girls, households and community leaders in best feeding practices.