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The World Food Programme (WFP) says it will use a $7.1 million climate risk insurance payment from the African Risk Capacity (ARC-Replica) to support 204,000 people in drought-affected regions of Mali.

It is understood that the WFP has been subscribing to the climate insurance policy since 2017 to finance early response in case of drought in the country.

The United Nations (UN) food programme, in a statement, said its climate risk insurance payment in Mali would help provide emergency and resilience-building support in a timely manner to those most vulnerable to climate extremes from March to May 2022.

‘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’, the statement read.

‘Over 20,000 children aged from six 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’.

Recurrent natural disasters, severe poverty and civil conflict since 2012 have exacerbated food insecurity and hunger in Mali.

According to the WFP, Mali experienced the most severe lack of rains in five years caused by periodic dry spells and low rainfall, all of which compromised the country’s agricultural output last year.

Data from Climate Links shows that rising temperatures and fluctuations in water availability threatens the pastoralist and agrarian livelihoods that support the majority of the population in Mali.

Climate Links also noted that Mali faces persistent food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in the Segou region.

‘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’, WFP’s Country Director in Mali, Sally Haydock, said.

‘This payout comes at a vital time – helping families adapt to most severe impacts of climate change and preserve their livelihoods’.

Source: WFP

Photo source: WFP/Arete/Adetona Omokanye

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