Press release - Tense security situation in northern Mali

Mali: Welthungerhilfe warns of possible food shortages!

Despite EUR 3.25 billion in promised aid funding

(25.05.2013) EUR 3.25 billion were promised for Mali at the international donor conference. This is a positive signal! But now the aid package must be implemented quickly, otherwise many parts of the country may be hit with food shortages next year. The population is only slowly recovering from last year's food crisis - a recovery that is made more difficult on account of the political crisis. The effects are particularly felt in the North, as the region does not have access to food.

Farmer with a special ration of food. © Thomas Martinez
Farmer with a special ration of food. © Thomas Martinez
The population in Mali is only slowly recovering from last year's food crisis. © Thomas Martinez
The population in Mali is only slowly recovering from last year's food crisis. © Thomas Martinez

"Many farmers in the North have not returned because of the security situation, or are not able to farm due to attacks and mines. In addition, rural regions also suffer from a lack of purchasing power. There is no seed, and no fuel, which is required to start up the water pumps for field irrigation. If we don't do anything now, the next year will be difficult," says Willi Kohlmus, Welthungerhilfe Regional Director in Bamako.

For this reason, Welthungerhilfe is calling for the rapid and well-coordinated assignment of aid funds for Mali. Those families that have been most severely affected must receive funds and food vouchers to prevent imminent food shortages. It will allow them to establish their basis of existence, to restart agricultural activities and stimulate local markets sustainably.

Welthungerhilfe will intensify the distribution of food and special rations for the treatment of severe malnutrition. Medium- and long-term measures will be implemented in the area of food security and nutritional counselling, basic education, and also conflict management. Mali's structural problems can only be addressed with a meaningful application of aid funds.

Welthungerhilfe has been supporting projects in Mali since 1968. Together with the local population, the organisation has supported measures in the area of sustainable food security, education and agricultural development. Welthungerhilfe has also continued to provide active emergency aid due to recurring political unrest and extreme climatic fluctuations. Of the country's 14 million inhabitants, approximately 2.79 million are affected by food insecurity, with 1.84 million severely affected (i.e. only one meagre meal a day). This last group also includes approximately 660,000 children, of which 210,000 are suffering from chronic undernourishment. Welthungerhilfe offers support to the population particularly in difficult times such as these.

We would be pleased to put you in touch with Regional Director Willi Kohlmus in Bamako for an interview.

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