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The humanitarian situation in Mali is extremely fragile. Close to three-quarters of a million people need immediate assistance now if we are to prevent a further deepening of the humanitarian crisis.
The food crisis emerging across the Sahel, together with ongoing conflict, has put about a quarter of the Malian population at risk of severe food and nutritional insecurity. FAO supports agriculture and livestock production, as it is central to the livelihoods of those most vulnerable. In Mali, FAO provides better quality seeds, small ruminants and veterinary support to vulnerable families that have lost their assets.
Responding to the crisis
The crisis is leading to fodder deficits, little cereal production and insufficient water for agriculture and livestock production. FAO is setting up market gardens with fences, as well as rehabilitating water points and irrigation infrastructure in order to ensure the production of quality food. Heavy fighting between the army and Touareg rebels in northern Mali is forcing many to flee their villages and leave behind important assets – some are also taking refuge in neighbouring countries, mostly Mauritania, Burkina Faso and the Niger. FAO distributes agricultural kits, tools, improved good quality seeds and small ruminants to ensure that refugees and internally displaced people will be able to build back their livelihoods. FAO also distributes small ruminants to pastoralists, providing them with additional income (through the sale of livestock products), which allows them to cover household food needs. To ensure livestock productivity, FAO distributes feed concentrates and multi-vitamin blocks, provides animal health support and trains pastoralists on good livestock management practices.
Avoiding post-harvest losses
Post-harvest losses are common in Mali due to limited and inappropriate storage and processing capacities, contributing to the insufficient availability of food, with almost half of the food produced being damaged. FAO distributes processing, preservation and storage materials for vegetables and cereals, develops new technology to facilitate the processing of agricultural products and provides training on horticultural processing and marketing techniques. Since there is limited food in the market, accessing food has become increasingly difficult and FAO is supporting producers by facilitating their access to more secure market channels to trade their products.
Lowering rates of malnutrition
The population faces high levels of malnutrition due to little agricultural diversification, low production and high food prices. FAO trains beneficiaries in good agricultural practices and is creating small market gardens to increase and diversify vegetable production. FAO also provides nutrition education to women and children in order to help them learn to grow, purchase, process and prepare more nutritious food.