July 20, 2024

Japan’s humanitarian aid boosts Mali’s food security amidst challenges

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Japan's humanitarian aid boosts Mali's food security amidst challenges

Japan's humanitarian aid boosts Mali's food security amidst challenges

The Japanese government has significantly contributed to integrated food assistance for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and vulnerable populations in Mali, as well as emergency support to enhance food security in sub-Saharan Africa, totaling $4.2 million USD (over 2.5 billion CFA francs) in 2024.

A ceremony in Bamako, organized by Mali’s Commissariat for Food Security and the World Food Programme (WFP), expressed gratitude towards Japan for its financial assistance. Ambassador Hideko Uezono, representing Japan in Bamako, highlighted that these funds were allocated under two projects.

The first project, aimed at providing integrated food assistance to IDPs and vulnerable populations in Mali, received an additional budget from the 2023 fiscal year amounting to $1,184,000 USD.

This initiative successfully met basic food and nutritional needs for conflict-affected individuals in Gao and Menaka regions, benefiting approximately 31,000 IDPs.

The second initiative, “Emergency Support to Improve Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa,” received $3,058,259 USD and was directed to WFP headquarters in Italy.

Ambassador Uezono noted, “Approximately 74,000 vulnerable individuals will benefit from this support,” emphasizing that these funds will enable WFP to distribute electronic food vouchers during lean periods, thereby stimulating local economies by empowering beneficiaries to select preferred meals.

Commissioner for Food Security Redouwane Ag Mohamed Ali praised Japan for its non-repayable donation of 2,777 tonnes of KR22 rice to Mali.

He emphasized the critical role of this donation during the lean season, supporting Mali’s efforts to enhance food security in vulnerable populations across central and northern regions.

Ali underscored Japan’s pivotal support in shielding communities from the devastating impacts of food insecurity and climate change, urging continued collaboration between WFP, Japan, and Mali to build a resilient future.

Eric Perdison, WFP’s Representative and Director overseeing the implementation of these funds, hailed Japan’s $4.2 million contribution as a testament to its solidarity with vulnerable populations in Mali.

“This generous contribution will provide crucial assistance to over 100,000 displaced persons across seven regions,” Perdison remarked, stressing the timeliness of Japan’s aid amid depleted food stocks and increased vulnerability due to climatic shocks.

He called for urgent measures to bolster community resilience against climate and conflict-related shocks, advocating for investments in sustainable technologies, improved market access for smallholder farmers, and social protection programs for the most vulnerable.

Perdison concluded by urging strengthened strategic partnerships and international cooperation to combat food insecurity effectively.

Japan’s humanitarian support underscores a critical lifeline for Mali’s vulnerable populations, providing essential aid amidst multifaceted challenges posed by climate variability and displacement.

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