The humanitarian situation in Mali is worsening. Populations continue to be affected by recurrent shocks that are disrupting their livelihoods and exacerbating their vulnerabilities. In recent years, the country has been facing a socio-political crisis, increased levels of insecurity in the central and northern regions, and multiple climatic hazards that have caused population displacements and the loss of households’ productive assets. In addition, economic difficulties related to the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related containment measures have led to increased humanitarian needs and levels of food insecurity in the country, with 1.3 million people estimated to be in high acute food insecurity from June to August 2021 (Cadre Harmonisé, March 2021).

Impact on households’ livelihoods

Insecurity, and its impact on communities, is still one of the main drivers of food insecurity in Mali. In the central and northern regions of the country (Gao, Menaka and Tombouctou), armed conflict and civil unrest have led to decreased agricultural production, crop damage and looting, and reduced access to pasture, which is exacerbating pastoralists’ vulnerabilities. In addition, access to basic social services is limited as well as to conflict-affected areas for humanitarian actors. In Mali, most of the population relies on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods. However, climatic hazards and environmental degradation, coupled with increased intercommunity conflict, reduced incomes and the decline in economic activities due to COVID-19, are triggering unusual population movements and significantly affecting agriculture-based livelihoods throughout the country. In recent years, the caseload of internally displaced people and refugees has steadily increased, reaching numbers comparable to those at the onset of the crisis in 2012.

FAO’s response

In an already fragile context, exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic, FAO urgently requires USD 30 million under the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan in order to support 900 000 people through agriculture and livestock assistance. FAO is working to enable people to rapidly produce their own food, strengthen their livelihoods and reduce their dependency on food aid through emergency distribution of seeds, agricultural tools and livestock feed, as well as vaccination campaigns, cash-based transfers and trainings. In addition, FAO is implementing activities to strengthen national technical capacities to ensure evidence-based analyses, including on the effects of COVID-19 on food security. Finally, FAO will continue to build capacity for prevention, detection and rapid response to disease threats with FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease in Mali.


More about the country

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