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First climate risk insurance payout in Mali helps WFP provide early response to climate-affected families

BAMAKO –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a US$ 7.1 million climate risk insurance payment from the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Replica to help support 204,000 people in drought-affected regions of Mali including Bandiagara, Gao, Kayes and Segou.

With a population already struggling with the effects of persistent conflicts, political instability, and the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, this first-ever climate risk insurance payment in Mali will help WFP provide emergency and resilience-building support in a timely manner to those most vulnerable to climate extremes from March to May 2022. WFP’s response will complement that of the Government of Mali which will also receive insurance compensation from ARC for climate shocks. Both WFP and government response plans have been prepared jointly and will be implemented in a coordinated manner to achieve impactful results.

"The impact of poor rains is clearly visible in affected communities and could prove devastating for many families. Cereal production has decreased, and pasture and water for livestock has shrunk, forcing people to sell off their livestock” said Sally Haydock, WFP’s Country Director and Representative. 

“This payout comes at a vital time - helping families adapt to the most severe impacts of climate change and preserve their livelihoods” she added.

In 2021, Mali experienced the most severe lack of rains in five years caused by periodic dry spells and low rainfall, all of which have compromised the country's agricultural output, putting 1.9 million people across the country at risk of severe food insecurity - mostly in the regions of Kayes, Gao, Mopti, Segou, and Timbuktu. 

"ARC Replica is a valuable programme that complements and supports the efforts of the Malian Government in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition. The government strategy is to provide half rations to populations in food crisis situations to contribute to national solidarity. Our common interest is to always work together to relieve the populations affected by drought and strengthen their resilience to climate shocks, with innovative solutions such as those offered by the ARC mutual insurance company," affirmed Mrs. DICKO Bassa Diane, Deputy Minister Commissioner of the Food Security Council.

With this climate insurance payment, WFP will provide early food assistance through cash transfers to 161,000 women, men and children affected by climate shocks. Over 20,000 children aged from 6 to 23 months, and pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers will receive nutritional support and services. To reinforce communities’ resilience to climate shocks, 23,000 people will benefit from community asset building programmes such as pastoral wells, water towers and fishponds that will help diversify their production and livelihoods and reduce the impact of future rains deficiencies.

Established to help governments improve their capacities to plan, prepare and respond to natural disasters caused by extreme weather events, ARC Replica is an innovative approach to climate risk management which allows countries - like Mali - to extend their climate insurance coverage to more vulnerable people in their countries.

As an ARC Replica technical partner, WFP uses the ARC insurance payment to improve its emergency and resilience-building response as it offers more flexibility for early emergency response than regular humanitarian funding systems. In collaboration with ARC, WFP will continue strengthening the technical and operational capacities of the Government of Mali in managing and preventing food insecurity and malnutrition caused by climate shocks. 

In Mali, WFP has been buying climate insurance policies since 2019 to finance early response in case of drought. In 2021, WFP’s insurance premium was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Germany.    


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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


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Myrline Sanogo Mathieu, WFP/ Bamako,
Tel. +223 8431 0830


Djaounsede Madjiangar, WFP/Dakar,
Tel. +221 77 639 42 71