How Dramane keeps smiling despite coronavirus

A Photo-story of how the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) continues serving the most vulnerable in Mali

Benoît Lognoné
May 15, 2020 · 4 min read
Setou and her 11-month-old son Dramane received nutrition support in Nossombougou, Koulikoro region, Mali — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné

Dramane is almost one year old. His large smile shines like the sun at a time when anxiety and fear resulting from the unrelenting spread of COVID-19 is eating up most adults. Dramane and his mother Setou are among families receiving nutrition support from WFP and its partners in Nossombougou about 70km from Mali’s capital Bamako.

Setou is also smiling as she looks at her son who continues to grow well. The support from WFP and partners contributes to this. That is why the agency has maintained lifesaving support to women, girls, men and boys affected by crisis, helping communities protect and diversify their livelihoods, and supporting the government and its partners to adequately respond to the pandemic.

Dramane, Setou and other families in Koulikourou region are not the only persons in need supported by WFP.

About 320,000 vulnerable people affected by conflict and the effects of climate change in Gao, Kayes, Menaka, Mopti, Timbuktu and Taoudenit regions, relied on WFP support before the outbreak of COVID-19 and could be more vulnerable now without assistance.

WFP has adjusted its food distribution processes, provided its partners with protective and hygiene kits across the country, to ensure that those already furthest behind are supported. These photos show how this is done at food distribution sites where handwashing stations, temperature checks, and physical distancing are now the norm.

An Internally Displaced Person (IDP) washes his hands at the entrance of a distribution site in Mopti, Mali — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné
Left: Temperature control | Center: Beneficiary sensitization on COVID-19 | Right: Waiting area — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné

A specific circuit is established to facilitate collection of food rations and channel traffic in and out of the food distribution point.

Left: Verification of beneficiairies’ cards | Right: Signature of beneficiairies’ on the register — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné
An IDP receives vouchers after registration — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné
Left: An internally displaced father chooses food items in front of a shop | Right: Exchange of food vouchers with the shop owner — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné

In addition to providing food and nutrition assistance, WFP also supports remote and real-time monitoring of the impact of COVID-19 on the household’s ability to meet their food and nutritional needs.

Call center agent in Bamako — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné

WFP also brings its logistical know-how to the Ministry of Public Health and Solidarity for the management of supply chains, in particular air freight, storage and transport of material and equipment for combating COVID-19 in Mali.

Logistical support of WFP to WHO and Government in freight area, Bamako International Airport — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné

Through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), WFP offers an essential service for the response to the pandemic, whether for the transportation of response teams or materials. UNHAS implements preventive hygiene measures for all passengers and ensures daily disinfection of aircraft.

Left: Transportation of light cargo through UNHAS | Right: Preventive hygiene measures before, during and after each UNHAS flight — Photo: WFP/Benoît Lognoné

All of these interventions have been possible thanks to the support of Belgium, Canada, European Union, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Mali, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, United States of America and the World Bank.

DONATE to help WFP respond to COVID-19 and continue to provide life-saving assistance to those who need it most. Read more here.

World Food Programme Insight

Insight by The World Food Programme

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store