Malian society faces multiple vulnerabilities in daily life, for reasons including political and security instability, conflicts, a weak economy and climate change. Most of Mali’s population, almost half of which lead a life in extreme poverty, live in rural areas, which is 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 increase. Caritas Switzerland’s 2021-2025 strategy for Mali is therefore based around the themes of income (including food security), climate and migration, against the overall objective of improving living conditions and helping reduce 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 Caritas Switzerland’s activities 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 west, centre and south of Mali. Its programme involves humanitarian and development interventions (humanitarian-development nexus), according to local needs. All its projects follow a multi-stakeholder and participatory approach based on human rights. They are sensitive to gender and conflict to ensure a 'do no harm' approach.