Sevare, Mali (July 18, 2012) – The Government of Denmark has awarded emergency funding to the Near East Foundation in support of ongoing relief efforts in Mali.
In recent months, the situation has grown dire in Mali as a result of political instability following the April 2012 coup d’état, a poor agricultural harvest, and a decade-long drought in the Sahel Desert.
The grant award, valued at just over $50,000, will be directed towards strengthening food security in northern Mali’s Mopti region, where there are a growing number of internally displaced people.
This time of year is known as the “hunger season” and it occurs annually. Families already malnourished and reduced to one meal a day are now being forced to eat their seed stock to survive, consuming what little seed they have set aside for the coming agricultural season.
From July until October, NEF will support vulnerable livestock and crop producers in an attempt to prevent further collapse of the food supply. NEF will provide a variety of essentials that farmers need, including improved seed, fertilizer, and animal feed.
NEF will also train farmers in how to adapt farming techniques so that they can successfully harvest – even in drought conditions. These strategies include adjusting their agricultural calendar, the quality and type of seeds, and water management practices.
Through a recent pilot project in the region, 200 farmers who received similar training from NEF used their newly acquired knowledge to produce an estimated 90 tons of rice, while their neighbors produced little to nothing.
To reach those most in need, NEF will partner with local government leaders, chambers of agriculture, farm service agencies, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The Government of Denmark cited NEF’s extensive, proven experience in the Mopti region as a significant factor in choosing it as an NGO Partner.
The award arrives at a time of critical need for the people of Mali. Many international funders have suspended their support until there is a resolution to the political coup. These suspensions have severely limited the ability of aid organizations to respond to the humanitarian crisis.
To support the Near East Foundation’s ongoing relief efforts in Mali please visit:http://www.neareast.org/getinvolved/donate.
The Near East Foundation is a U.S.-based international development NGO leading innovative social and economic change in the Middle East and Africa for almost 100 years. Founded in 1915, NEF helps build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. NEF field staff – all of them from the countries in which they work – partner with local organizations to implement grassroots solutions and to empower citizens through “knowledge, voice, and enterprise.” To learn more visit http://www.neareast.org.