Mali: Improving Child Nutrition and Food Security in the most vulnerable municipalities in Mali
Mali has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition and food insecurity in the world. One in six children suffers from acute malnourishment and more than a third are stunted from a lack of proper nutrients. Though Mali has made progress in reducing child deaths, more than half of those that occur are due to malnutrition. The aim of the Joint Programme was to improve food security and the nutritional status of women and children, enhance Mali's ability to monitor food and nutrition issues and ensure that these are considered in national and community policy-making.
The joint programme used an integrated approach to achieve four primary outcomes:
- To reduce malnutrition and food insecurity to below international thresholds by combining health prevention and nutrition education with development activities in the agriculture and water sectors.
- To improve the nutritional status of children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women by strengthening the capacity of health services and by providing the appropriate nutritional and therapeutic resources.
- To strengthen the planning and management capacity of local authorities in the area of food security and nutrition by supporting the creation of local development plans.
- To enhance national capacities for assessment and monitoring, including improved responsiveness to changes in nutrition and food security in targeted communities.
A participatory approach was used at both upstream and downstream levels in order to maximize the economic and social benefits of improved nutrition and food security for women, children and their families.
Main achievements included:
- Medicines and ready-to-use therapeutic food supplements were provided to health facilities serving thousands of women and under-5 children. More than 56,500 children received vitamin A nutrition supplements and deworming medicine, and 2,000 severely under-nourished children were treated.
- Information campaigns were organized with NGOs and community intermediaries to increase populations’ knowledge on food insecurity and to encourage screening and detection of under-nutrition. Local governments and administrations were mobilized.
- Some 520 women were given poultry, sheep or inputs for gardening and 12 villages were equipped with a functioning source of water. Output increased significantly and became more diversified. This proved particularly important given the very low harvest obtained in 2012 in the region.
Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programme in Mali (in French).