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Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, with poverty affecting more than half the population. Despite its wealth of natural resources and national agricultural and climate change policies, the country still faces major challenges such as droughts, strong winds, sand storms, floods and epidemics.
Terrorism-related insecurity is recurrent despite the 2015 peace and reconciliation agreement and deployment of peacekeeping and counter-terrorism forces (UNMISMA, Operation Barkhane and G5 Sahel) in Mali.
The Malian economy is based essentially on the agricultural sector (agriculture, fishing, livestock and forestry). Highly dependent on natural resources, the agricultural sector is very vulnerable to climate change. The sector employs about 70% of the working population, which derives little income from this production. The reasons are many: demographic growth, extensive exploitation of natural resources, migratory flows to urban centres and artisanal gold mining sites, illiteracy, etc. As a result, the nutrition and food situation of the population remains a concern, especially for women and children aged 0-5 years.
Caritas Switzerland's programme in Mali supports a range of activities, especially in the south-west and centre of the country covering Mopti, Bamako, Koulikoro, Sikasso and Kayes.The strategy corresponds to both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Strategic Framework for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development programme.
Food Security and Markets
Food consumption and nutritional intakes in Mali are little diversified and stable. People have limited access to food and one third of the population suffers chronic and severe food insecurity. Natural resources have great potential, but their management faces many problems: land conflicts, insufficient hydro-agricultural development, random rainfall, bush fires, insecurity linked to terrorism, etc. To meet these challenges, the Mali country programme 2017-2020 is pursuing the following objectives:
The acquisition of skills and practical knowledge through non-formal vocational training of producers and family farms is a priority in the implementation of these objectives. Special attention is paid to young people and women.
Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction
Mali is adversely affected by rainfall variability and rising temperatures, which cause multiple natural disasters and degradation of natural resources. Rural communities, which constitute 80% of Mali's population, are exposed to the adverse effects of climate change and disasters. That is why the Caritas Switzerland programme aims to reduce disaster risks. The capacities of communities in rural areas and family farms are strengthened to help them avoid and mitigate the impacts of natural and technological hazards and reduce the resulting losses and damage. The key implementation activities include:
Humanitarian AidHumanitarian aid is not a sector of activity in its own right under the Mali 2017-2020 programme. Caritas Switzerland intervenes as needed on an ad hoc basis and mainly as a complement to the food security sector, in order to combine emergency aid, rehabilitation and development.