Panafrican News Agency

Coronavirus: Germany gives CFAF 7 billion to Mali for food security and resilience

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - Germany has granted Mali an additional financial contribution of CFAF 7.2 billion, through the World Food Programme (WFP), in its programme to support food security and resilience in Mali, PANA reported on Friday, quoting an official source.

This additional grant will help small producers and their families during this Covid-19 crisis, from the perspective of good preparation of the agricultural campaign despite the existing challenges, help vulnerable segments of the population by strengthening the school canteen program and the management of cases of chronic malnutrition.

According to the same source, this additional amount is in addition to the 17 billion F CFA, already mobilized last year, reinforcing Germany's commitment to the resilience of vulnerable populations in Mali, representing an overall aid of 24.2 billion F CFA.

The Malian Minister of Agriculture, Moulaye Ahmed Boubacar, has said that his country is being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and "this donation is, therefore, timely to help the Malian government to set up actions to support populations already suffering from drought, the desert locust and many other social scourges".

According to him, the success of this project will depend on the effective participation of the beneficiary populations in its implementation, as well as on strengthening synergy with other actors working on similar initiatives.

He recalled that the 2019/2020 agricultural season was considered good to average with cereal production estimated at 10.5 million tonnes. "Despite this good trend, the season has been marked by pockets of drought, insufficient rainfall, inter-community conflicts and other forms of insecurity that have affected agricultural production, especially in the centre and north of the country," he added.

Since 2018, Germany has been supporting WFP's engagement in resilience and livelihood initiatives throughout the Sahel region, including in Mali.

To date, thanks to Germany's support, "we have been able to reach more than 171,000 people in more than 100 villages across the country," said WFP Representative Silvia Caruso, for whom nearly 5 million people may be food insecure and another 1.34 million may be severely food insecure in Mali.

The WFP representative said that one of the commitments of Germany was to provide multi-year support over the period 2018-2023, thereby supporting WFP and its partners in planning and implementing resilience interventions in a sustainable and effective manner.

For Silvia Caruso, through this additional German funding, WFP is supporting food-insecure communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from climate shocks and the effects of conflict.

Activities include rehabilitation of agricultural and pastoral land, treatment and prevention of malnutrition, school feeding programmes, capacity building for smallholder farmers and local food procurement to support school feeding activities.

-0- PANA GT/BEH/MTA/VAO 8May2020