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Emirates Red Crescent Contribution Helps WFP Save Lives In Northern Mali

BAMAKO - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC)’s contribution of US$1 million to help nearly 30,000 malnourished children and women in the regions of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, where the nutritional situation is alarming.

Malnutrition affects one in three children in Mali; latest figures show a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 12.4 percent among children under five across the country. In the region of Timbuktu, this rate rises to 17.5 percent, exceeding the World Health Organization’s critical emergency threshold.

"This important contribution comes at a critical moment. It allows WFP to purchase nutritional products to treat nearly 30,000 malnourished children under five and pregnant and nursing women in the worst affected northern areas. This treatment is not only life-saving, it also helps children to develop normally and reach their full potential,” said Sally Haydock, WFP Country Director in Mali.

The last three years have been particularly difficult for the population living in northern Mali which has been battling both severe drought and continued conflict.

Despite a generally good harvest in 2015, poverty still prevents nearly a quarter of Mali's people from being able to obtain enough food for themselves and their families.

Malnutrition presents serious health risks for children, and can be fatal; it slows intellectual development, saps productivity and perpetuates poverty among affected communities.  

In 2016, with support from the ERC and other partners, WFP plans to implement malnutrition treatment activities for about 420,000 people through the 1,222 health centers across the country, and through mobile health teams reaching communities living in remote areas.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address:                          
Maude Berset, WFP/Mali, Mob. +223 76 71 26 29