In alignment with USAID’s resilience strategy to mitigate recurrent shocks on vulnerable populations in Mali, the overall goal of the Integrated Rural Program to Improve Nutrition and Hygiene – USAID Nutrition and Hygiene – project (2013‐2019) was to improve the nutritional status of women and children, with a special emphasis on building resilience through the prevention and treatment of undernutrition.
The project – which was implemented by a CARE‐led consortium that included Family Health International (FHI 360), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and a Malian non‐governmental organization (NGO) called Yam‐Giribolo‐Tumo (YA‐G‐TU) – targeted three regions in Mali: Mopti, Ségou and Koulikoro. These regions are all characterized by drought and climate‐related chronic food insecurity and high acute malnutrition rates. The project was implemented in nine districts across these three regions: Nara (Koulikoro Region), Niono (Ségou Region), Mopti, Bandiagara, Bankass, Tenenkou, Youwarou, Koro and Djenne (Mopti Region). In 2016, the project received additional funding from Feed the Future to reinforce its agriculture component in the Mopti region.
The project aimed to reach children during the 1,000‐day “window of opportunity” period between conception and the first two years of life through the promotion of community and health sector services, improved agricultural practices, nutrition education and social behavior change communication. Our approach addressed both the immediate causes of malnutrition – such as inadequate dietary intake and infectious diseases, including diarrheal diseases – and the underlying root causes of malnutrition – such as poor hygiene, inadequate sanitation infrastructure and barriers to the access to and consumption of quality, diverse foods.