Minister of Humanitarian Action Mamadou Sidibé hands the cheque to WFP Acting Country Director in Mali Martin Ohlsen while the head of the Orange Foundation Aminata Kamian Diawara looks on. WFP / Daouda Guirou
The telecoms company Orange has donated close to $100,000 to WFP to provide much-needed food assistance to internally displaced people in Mali.
BAMAKO - The telecoms company Orange has donated close to $100,000 to WFP to provide much-needed food assistance to internally displaced people in Mali.
''The contribution of the Orange Mali Foundation is timely because most host families of IDPs have begun to exhaust their food reserves and are already facing the lean season, which arrived two months early this year because of the drought in the Sahel'' said WFP Acting Country Director for Mali Martin Ohlsen.
The contribution will allow WFP to buy 108 metric tons of cereals to assist 8,000 internally displaced people for one month.
The internally displaced, mostly women and children, are moving into areas already affected by the drought. According to food security surveys, many have resorted to negative coping strategies such as eating only one meal a day.
In addition to this contribution, WFP and Orange Mali have signed a partnership agreement to provide assistance to 9,000 vulnerable households following the drought, reaching around 50,000 people through cash transfers.
Beneficiaries will receive a smart card for their mobile phone. At each transfer, they will receive text messages that will allow them to withdraw a sum of money in Orange kiosks across the country, enabling them to buy food in local markets to cover their basic needs.
Armed clashes in northern Mali in January resulted in massive population displacements both within Mali and to neighbouring countries. As of the end of April, the number of internally displaced people in Mali was estimated at 130,000.