The people of Mali face multiple risks and challenges in their daily lives due to political instability and security threats, conflicts, a weak economy and climate change. Half of the population live in extreme poverty, and most people live in the rural areas where 90% of the poor are concentrated. People are particularly affected by food insecurity, and forced displacement and migration in search of income are on the rise. Caritas Switzerland’s 2021-2025 strategy for Mali is therefore based around the thematic areas of income (including food security), climate and migration, in accordance with the overall objective of improving living conditions and reducing poverty.
The agricultural sector, which comprises farming, fishing and livestock, is a source of income for about 80% of the Malian population. Caritas Switzerland is working to enable the most vulnerable groups in this sector to improve their income opportunities through better access to markets – by applying the Market System Development approach (MSD/M4P), and by strengthening their technical and vocational skills. Since the agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events, all activities implemented by Caritas Switzerland in this field are designed to improve how Malians adapt to climate change.
Enhanced and sustainable production techniques, such as integrated natural resources management, agroecology and access to climate information, lie at the heart of the adaptation measures Caritas Switzerland promotes. In terms of migration, Caritas Switzerland in Mali focuses on protecting vulnerable people, especially women and children, and supports them to realise their potential as development stakeholders in their communities of origin, transit and destination.
Caritas Switzerland operates in the western, central, and southern part of Mali. According to local needs, its programme involves humanitarian and development interventions (humanitarian-development nexus). All its projects follow a multi-stakeholder and participatory approach based on human rights. All projects are sensitive to gender and conflict to ensure a 'do no harm' approach.