Once acclaimed as an example of stability in West Africa, Mali spiraled into an unprecedented political crisis after the government was overthrown in March 2012. The radical Islamist occupation in the north displaced nearly 400,000 people and compounded a severe food crisis that spanned across the Sahel region.
Today, the country continues to battle insecurity, despite the signature of a comprehensive Peace Accord in June 2015. Widespread poverty, an agricultural economy vulnerable to droughts, limited government service capacity and insufficient infrastructure throughout the country leaves populations in a fragile position.
- Economic opportunity: Partnering with communities to create village savings and loan associations, give returned refugees a second chance with cash transfers and livelihoods training, provide business support to young entrepreneurs and link agro-pastoralists to the resources they need to increase productivity
- Resilience: Building private sector business models to increase financial literacy and test new financial products and services for agro-pastoralists in the north so they can bounce back better after seasonal economic shocks
- Peace and security: Educating diverse community members, particularly women and girls, about the peace process and getting them directly involved in the implementation of the Peace Accord while working with youth to prevent future conflict
Mali: Building stronger communities through small businesses
Supporting entrepreneurs in Mali helps people become positive forces for change in their families and communities. Find out how.
Mali: Why are Mali’s youth taking up arms?
Our new report on Mali reveals that efforts to discourage youth from turning to violence must engage entire communities, and go beyond just focusing on young people themselves.
Mali: A better life grows from four tons of potatoes
After an extended period of drought and conflict, Fatoumata was having trouble making ends meet. Learn how we’re helping her harvest more food and provide for her family.
Mali, Niger, Nigeria: Why women are key to building resilience
Increasingly frequent droughts are the new reality in the Sahel. Our new research shows how gender equality helps communities survive these and other disasters.
Mali: Emergency funds are helping families survive year of shocks
What can a piece of paper do? How our voucher distributions have made an impact in the midst of prolonged drought and conflict in Mali.
Mali: Fighting cuts off food and humanitarian assistance
Mercy Corps team members in the Gao region report that food supplies are dwindling since the military offensive against rebel extremists began in January.
Mali: Families stock up on food
Mercy Corps teams are distributing emergency monthly vouchers to families in northern Mali that allow them to buy food on the local market. The money gets them a month's supply of the necessary basics they choose; most are stocking up on oil and rice.
Mali: Emergency food aid is just the start
Mercy Corps teams are now providing desperately needed assistance in Mali to those who are struggling to find enough to eat.
Mali, Niger: What you want to know about the Sahel hunger crisis
The hunger crisis in the Sahel is not an immediate emergency that gets splashed across the evening news. Instead, the tragic circumstances of drought and failed harvests have been building since the beginning of the year.
Mali, Niger: Expanding hunger relief efforts
Our teams are working on expanding desperately needed cash distribution to hungry families in Agadez, the largest city in northern Niger, as the country's food crisis deepens.