In 2012, when radical groups took control of Mali's northern regions, more than half a million Malians were displaced from their homes. Roughly 150,000 people escaped to neighbouring countries, and hundreds of thousands became displaced inside Mali.
In June 2015, a peace agreement was signed between the two major armed coalitions and the Malian government. Since then, authorities have gradually returned to the north, providing basic state services in the largest towns. But many remote areas still lack basic services, like healthcare and education. On top of this, the central regions are now on the brink of collapsing into insecurity, or even full conflict.
While those who have stayed put since the eruption of conflict face violence, poverty, and food insecurity, the number of internally displaced people continues to increase. Close to 50,000 people have fled their homes in northern and central Mali so far this year, due to intercommunal clashes, a rise in armed groups and military operations. Humanitarian needs are staggering: about 5.2 million people are in need of assistance.
People we helped in Mali in 2017
We strive to provide lifesaving short-term and long-term aid to displaced people in Mali, as well as the most vulnerable among those who stayed put.
Given the diminishing donor attention on Mali, we advocate for displacement issues, humanitarian needs and access to be central to humanitarian and development discussions at international level.
More than 730 schools have shut down and over 180.000 children are deprived of their education in Mali. We work together with local communities, parents and education authorities to provide quality education to children and youth affected by displacement and conflict. Our education teams:
- provide catch-up classes for out-of-school children, giving them an opportunity to jump back into the formal education system
- support community-based learning in areas where no schools are functional
- provide vocational training for vulnerable youth, so that they can earn a living
- support the formal education system through teacher training and distribution of text books and pencils
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
We provide legal assistance to conflict-affected people through our services in central and northern Mali. By using mobile teams, we also extend our assistance beyond these areas. We:
- help people to acquire civil documentation, such as identity cards and birth certificates, so that adults can access basic services, and children can be enrolled in schools
- give training to local authorities on the needs and rights of internally displaced people
- help internally displaced people and returnees to access their land and property rights by assisting those who have lost their documentation or whose claims to land are contested
Livelihoods and food security
In the regions most affected by displacement and food insecurity, our teams:
- distribute food to people affected by a displacement
- help people earn a living and rebuild their future through income-generating opportunities like community gardens, village savings and loans associations
Shelter and settlements
Our shelter teams:
- provide emergency assistance to people affected by displacement by handing out essential household items like blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, clothes, soap
Our shelter activities also go hand in hand with our education activities. We:
- construct and rehabilitate schools, classrooms and latrines in areas where we have education activities to make sure that children have a friendly and safe learning environment
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- World Food Programme (WFP)
- Food for Peace (FFP/USAID)
- European Union
- French Development Agency (AFD)
- Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)
- Swiss Agency for Development and Coorporation (SDC)
About NRC in (country)
Displacement of civilians in Mali spikes due to armed conflict
Close to 50,000 people have fled their homes in northern and central Mali, so far this year, due to intercommunal clashes, a rise in armed groups and military operations. Humanitarian funding has failed to keep pace with the rising needs, leaving people stranded without necessary assistance, said the Norwegian Refugee Council.
Helping children go back to school in Mali
Ten-year-old Safiatou Issiaka had never been to school. That finally changed when the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) opened a learning centre in her village in Mali.