Photo: Ben Stevens for Action Against Hunger, Mali
17.6 million
Human Development Index
175 (out of 188 countries ranked)
Our Team
256 employees
Program Start

People Helped in 2019: 541,921

People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs 
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs 

In Mali, over half of the population lives below the international poverty line. Poverty in this country stems both from geographical and social problems. Two thirds of the country is a desert or semi-desert that experience long yearly periods of drought. While vulnerable populations in these areas already suffer from chronic food insecurity, the worsening droughts make it harder for people to cope with and recover from cyclical food shortages.

Widespread poverty, food insecurity, and instability from conflict have led to alarming numbers of childhood malnutrition. Malnutrition rates exceed the critical threshold on a national level, and the Sahel region of northern Mali is in a constant state of nutrition emergency. Malnutrition is the second leading cause of death in children under age five in the country.

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The security situation in Mali saw significant changes in 2019. The central and eastern areas of the country were subject to ethno-communal violence and reprisals, which were followed by an increase in attacks by radical armed groups on soldiers and camps of the Malian army. Furthermore, the conflict is increasingly internationalizing with the added involved of international coalitions and countries.

In 2019, with the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, there were three times more internally displaced persons than the previous year, and more than 300,000 people were in need of food assistance. In addition, the loss of government control of large parts of the country reduced the coverage of basic services and access for humanitarian organizations.

Action Against Hunger teams in Mali worked to address emergency needs in the northern, eastern, and central regions, where the conflict is particularly intense. To respond comprehensively to urgent needs, we have expanded our activities to Segú and Sikasso, near the area known as Liptako-Gurma, the epicenter of the current conflict. We provide treatment for severely malnourished children, and support malnutrition management in public health facilities. To tackle the root causes of hunger, we have also implemented programs in food security and water, sanitation and hygiene. 

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