MALI – The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths, has allocated US$11 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for a rapid response to help people threatened by food and nutrition insecurity and refugees in Mali.

This allocation will enable the humanitarian community to provide emergency food and nutrition assistance to 287,915 vulnerable people and to respond to the multi-sectoral needs of 38,732 refugees in the regions of Ménaka, Gao, Mopti, Bandiagara and San.

Commenting on the allocation, Alain Noudéhou, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Mali, noted that the funding breathes new life into the vital assistance we are trying to provide in the northern and central regions.

It also serves as a reminder that the humanitarian situation in Mali and the central Sahel must remain an international priority, he asserted.

We hope that this allocation will have a catalytic effect in mobilizing more flexible funding, particularly for the refugee response,” he added.

This allocation will benefit four projects, which will help provide multi-sectoral support through food assistance (implemented by WFP), the distribution of emergency food production and livestock kits (implemented by FAO), the care of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (implemented by UNICEF), and the protection and multi-sectoral care of refugees (implemented by UNHCR).

The call to humanitarian funding comes at a time when Mali’s cereal production expected to jump 12% on favourable weather in 2024/2025, according to a recent statement from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Mali is the second largest producer of grasses in West Africa behind Nigeria with a consumption of about 5.4 million tons of grain. It is also one of the main players in the cross-border grain trade in West Africa and exports between 10 and 15% of its harvest according to government data.

Corn is the main cereal grown, accounting for approximately 40% of cereal production followed by rice, millet and sorghum, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In addition, agricultural activities represent approximately 33 percent of Mali’s GDP and employ nearly 80 percent of Malians.

While agriculture is predominantly rain-fed, the main challenge for the productive system remains the variability of climatic conditions.

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