JOINT PRESS RELEASE: Canada pledges one of the largest ever single contributions to a UNICEF Office, to fight malnutrition in Mali

The grant aims to improve the health, nutrition and wellbeing of women, girls, and children under five across Mali by 2027 through innovative approaches and multi-sectoral action.

25 April 2022

BAMAKO, 25 April 2022 – Canada has made one of its largest ever single contributions to a UNICEF office, providing 40 million Canadian dollars (19 billion CFA francs) for Malian women and children.

Canada and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), together with the Ministry of Health and Social Development and partners, came together in Bamako to officially launch the NAFAMA project “Improving the nutritional status of vulnerable women, girls and children under five in Mali.”

“The Government of Canada will continue, through its investments, to support Mali to improve the quality and accessibility of health and nutrition services for the poorest and most vulnerable people,” said François Picard, chief of mission (Mali and Niger), Embassy of Canada in Mali.

“The successful implementation of the project depends above all on the support and guidance of ministries, and national and general directorates.

“I renew my thanks to all the partners of this important project, and more particularly UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Social Development,” said Picard.

Speaking at the official launch of the project at the UNICEF Mali Country Office in Bamako, UNICEF Representative Sylvie Fouet thanked the people of Canada for their support, and the Government of Mali and partners for their efforts towards better health and nutrition for every child.

“On behalf of the children and families whose situation is aimed to be improved by this project, we sincerely thank Canada for their generous support. This demonstrates not only Canada's commitment to children in Mali, but also your trust placed in UNICEF and its partners, while also recognising the enormity of the challenge.

“Malnutrition has serious consequences on the health and wellbeing of children, their cognitive development, and their ability to learn or to participate in the economic development of their families, their communities and their countries.

“We are pleased to partner with the Government of Mali with the support from Canada, to improve the nutritional status of the population in general, and of the most vulnerable groups, women, girls and children, in particular,” said Fouet.

The partnership is the largest single pledge donation ever made by the Government of Canada to ta UNICEF Country Office and will focus on providing everything a child needs reach its potential development. Through this partnership, the Government of Canada and UNICEF Mali reiterate their commitment to the children of Mali and their friendship towards the Malian people.

In coordination with the Government of Mali and its partners, 1,400,000 people (600,000 directly) will benefit from the project's interventions. A larger number will also benefit from the influence of the integrated multi-sectoral interventions.

Speaking at the launch, Ministry of Health and Social Development General secretary Aly Diop said “This project will help access to quality basic services as well as the adoption of healthy nutritional practices.

“I would like to express the gratitude of the Government of Mali for the quality of cooperation between Canada and Mali as well as thank UNICEF for its constant support for women and children in an unstable context. It is in difficulty that one recognizes one's friends and this project comes at a time of insecurity. Long live international cooperation!” said Diop who was representing the Ministry.

The project involves actions at all levels - individual, community, local and national authority and multi-stakeholder platforms. It will employ a unique approach of using community friendly platforms to build and endorse child-friendly communities to ensure sustainability.

Through engaging directly with communities and building their skills (especially women) this project will create approximately 300 ‘child-friendly’ villages and provide quality prevention and holistic care services to prevent and manage malnutrition. The project will use innovations through using technology, such as tablets, in the community to raise awareness on the impacts of malnutrition. The added value of the NAFAMA programme is providing children and communities with the means to improve their nutritional status thanks to a holistic package of interventions to improve access to clean water, good hygiene and sanitation, education, quality health care, safety and protection, as well as building resilience and gender equality.

While the project will cover the whole Country, it will have a specific focus on T Mopti, Ségou, and Timbuktu Regions.

In concluding the launch, UNICEF Representative Sylvie Fouet, invited everyone to support the efforts to ensure children and their families in Mali remain at the top of the agenda, and at the centre of actions.

Media contacts

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Ismail Maiga
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About Canada in Mali

Canada is a long-standing partner for promoting peace, security and sustainable development in Mali. Since 2000, Canada has provided over $1.6 billion Canadian in international assistance to Mali.

Canada is well positioned to help ensure the protection of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women and children. Canada has the expertise, credibility, experience, and a network of strong partnerships on the ground, which has led to meaningful results and made a real difference in the lives of Malians.