NEF Partners with Canadian Government to Improve Food Security in Northern Mali

Syracuse, NY (January 14, 2013) — The Near East Foundation (NEF) has received a grant award from the Canada Mali Common Development Fund to improve agricultural resilience in northern Mali.

Through the award, valued at $440,000, NEF will partner with the governments of Canada and Mali to build food security in 95 villages in the Mopti region, where people are vulnerable to famine, climate change, ongoing conflict, and disputes over natural resources.

A variety of agricultural and economic development initiatives will be supported by the grant, which will focus on villages in the municipalities of Diaptodji and Korombana. Specific activities include: the rehabilitation of two village rice fields, the creation of three community market gardens with solar water pumps, the establishment of a water distribution system, and the distribution of fishing equipment to ten communities.

Work under the project will build on NEF’s longstanding efforts to improve conditions in the region. For nearly 30 years, NEF has worked in Mali to alleviate poverty and reduce conflict through initiatives in sustainable agriculture and improved resource management, including training farmers in technologies that conserve soil and water.

Recent NEF work in the region has resulted in an over 50% income increase among participants in a market garden program. Through another pilot project, 200 farmers who received training from NEF used their newly acquired knowledge to produce an estimated 90 tons of rice during a period of drought, while their neighbors produced little to no food.


The Near East Foundation is a U.S.-based international NGO leading innovative social and economic development in the Middle East and Africa since 1915. For nearly 100 years, NEF has worked to empower citizens in disadvantaged, vulnerable communities. NEF field staff – all of them from the countries in which they work – partner with local organizations to find grassroots solutions to their development challenges. Our “knowledge, voice, and enterprise” approach is helping build more prosperous, inclusive communities throughout the region. To learn more visit

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