Mali 2023 IFRC network country plan (MAAML002)


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Mali 2023 IFRC network country plan (MAAML002)




Joint situational analysis

Mali covers an area of 1,240,190 km², 51% of which is desert or semi-desert. It is subject to random, irregular and insufficient rainfall. The country faces several threats related to the consequences of climate change. These include floods, pollution and quasi-cyclical droughts with adverse consequences on the health of the population.

The population of Mali is estimated at 21.5 million (UNFPA) in 2022. It is predominantly rural (84% of the population) and is characterized by a young population (more than 48% of the population are under 15 years old), and the slight predominance of males (50.19% men). Beyond this youthful face, it is also characterized by its high economic growth rate, around 3.1% in 2021 (World Bank), mainly driven by agriculture. However, the outlook for 2022 was not expected to be good, and Mali is expected to return to recession, mainly due to sanctions for much of 2022. It is also characterized by its unequal population distribution throughout the country (average density is 16.79 inhabitants/km²), and with a population growth of 3.36%. This high population growth is based, in particular, on high fertility (the fertility rate is 5.5 in 2022), making Mali the country with the second highest fertility in the world.

In Mali, agriculture is the main source of employment and income, with 60% of the active population involved in agriculture, and contributing 30% of economic growth. The gross domestic product remains dominated by agriculture (30%) and the informal sector. The performance of the agricultural sector is highly volatile due to its high exposure to climate change. Only 4% of is used for agriculture and livestock, or about 4.7 million hectares. The northern Sudanian zone and the southern Sahelian zone, which cover about 17 million hectares, have a fairly high fertility potential. In recent years, Mali has suffered many droughts. Due to the increasing overexploitation of natural resources (land, water, biodiversity), the populations engaged in these activities are particularly vulnerable, leading to the accentuation of desertification, poverty and food insecurity. Floods and droughts are annual events that result in the loss of life and property, and are the main risks in the country. In addition to these main risks, extreme climatic events (torrential rains, rising surface water levels, storms) are increasingly violent and frequent, leading to the drying up of rivers, the appearance of many disease vectors, including malaria, and the displacement of populations.

Administratively, Mali has 11 regions, 19 urban communes and 684 rural communes. Local authorities (circles, regions, municipalities) are autonomous entities with their own legal personality, powers and resources. They are managed by bodies elected in accordance with the principles of free administration. As entities, the regions and the municipalities are operational, and regional councils, city and municipal councils are in place.

Recent years have been marked by an exacerbation of violence in the north, and intercommunal conflicts in the centre (in Segou and Mopti regions). This has led to a significant deterioration in the security and humanitarian context. The persistence of insecurity in these areas has led to population displacement and increased humanitarian access constraints, in a complex emergency environment characterized by an insufficient, and sometimes total lack of, infrastructure and basic social services. In 2019, the scale of the crisis was further accentuated with the widespread expansion of violence and insecurity throughout the centre of the country, with a transnational dimension in the Liptako Gourma area. Populations are exposed to increasing crime, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and the presence of extremely violent armed groups and community-based conflicts. The deterioration of the security situation prevents the population of the affected areas from having access to quality basic social services and has a very great impact on income-generating activities, due to threats, intimidation and abuses by armed groups, preventing populations from freely carrying out socio-economic activities.

The security situation in the central Sahel (Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali) has accelerated forced displacement, both within the country and to neighbouring countries. The security situation, particularly in the tri-border regions, is exacerbating the already alarming levels of food insecurity in some areas. More than 5.8 million people are uprooted across the Sahel, and most arrive in communities with already limited resources. The number of forcibly displaced people in the central Sahel increased by 30% between 2020 and 2021, totaling two million internally displaced people and 132,000 refugees. In Mali, more than 400,000 people are internally displaced, an increase of 30% compared to 2021. Many internally displaced persons have also been forced to flee several times, further exacerbating their vulnerability, with numerous threats at national borders.

In the coming decades, the expected increase in the number of extreme weather events, as well as the high rate of growth of the Malian population, is likely to contribute to an increase in the number of people leaving rural areas to more than 130,000 per year by 2040, 10 times more than during the 2000s (Dimitri Defrance,
Esther Delesalle and Flore Gubert, 2020).