NEW YORK, 7th January, 2017 (WAM) — Working closely with the European Union, EU, the Government of the United Kingdom, UK, and the Government of Mali, provided emergency assistance to more than a quarter of a million needy people in Mali last year.

The EU and UK contributed EUR 5 million in 2016 through the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, ECHO, which enabled the United Nations World Food Programme, WFP, to implement life-saving programmes in northern and central Mali.

According to the National Food and Nutrition Security Assessment, 425,000 people were found to be severely food insecure in 2016. A National Response Plan was developed in June 2016 to address the crisis, providing WFP with a framework to deliver financial and operational support. Together with the government, WFP assisted 205,000 people suffering severe food insecurity, including internally displaced persons and repatriated refugees during the pastoral and agro-pastoral lean season (from June to September).

Thanks to contributions from the EU and UK, WFP was able to deliver critical support to the Mali Government’s Food Security Commissariat.

“As a result of these funds, the most vulnerable people, especially those in northern and central Mali, suffering both severe drought and continued conflict, have received life-saving support,” said WFP Mali Country Director Silvia Caruso.

The EU contribution additionally enabled WFP to provide essential nutritional assistance to 92,200 children aged 6 to 23 months and 45,500 pregnant and nursing women in Gao, Mopti and Timbuktu.