Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC

NRC in Mali

Violence and attacks by armed and radical groups have forced thousands of Malians to flee their homes. NRC strives to meet the needs of those affected.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2023.


Humanitarian overview

In 2012, armed groups took control of Mali's northern regions. A decade later, the armed conflict has spread to more regions, causing widespread displacements. More than 150,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, and hundreds of thousands remain displaced inside Mali.

In June 2015, a peace agreement was signed between the two major armed coalitions and the government. Following this, authorities gradually returned to the north, providing basic services in the largest towns. Many remote areas still lack basic services, like healthcare and education. On top of this, conflicts have increased exponentially in the central and southern regions.

Since the eruption of the conflict, those who remained have faced violence, poverty and food insecurity, and the number of internally displaced people continues to increase. Over 391,000 people fled their homes in northern and central Mali in 2023 due to intercommunal clashes, a rise in armed groups and military operations. In addition, there are 85,484 refugees as per December 2023. The humanitarian needs are staggering. The UN estimates that over 7.1 million people will need assistance in 2024, although the humanitarian response plan is targeting only 4.1 million.

  • 68,736
    people benefited from our education programme
  • 58,627
    people benefited from our food security programme
  • 92,271
    people benefited from our shelter programme
  • 8,492
    people benefited from our protection programme
  • 64,720
    people benefited from our ICLA programme
  • 35,568
    people benefited from our WASH programme


NRC's operation

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 remain.

We advocate for the international community to increase engagement in Mali, focusing not only on security, but also on humanitarian access and the needs of those affected by displacement. 


NRC EducationEducation

In 2023, an estimated 1,722 schools were closed and about 516,600 children were 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, distribution of school materials and improving the governance of education at local level


NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)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. Specifically, 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 and have a legal identity
  • give training to local authorities on the needs and rights of internally displaced people as we provide them with registers and basic office supplies to enable them to issue civil documentation
  • 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


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

 In the regions most affected by displacement and compromised food security, our teams:

  • provide vulnerable households with multipurpose cash assistance to enable them to meet food and other basic needs
  • build stores in vulnerable communities and supply them with grain
  • help people earn a living and rebuild their future through income-generating opportunities like community gardens, village savings and loan associations


NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

 Our shelter teams:

  • provide emergency assistance to people affected by displacement by distributing essential household items like blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, clothes and soap
  • provide housing to internally displaced people and vulnerable people from host communities
  • with an integrated programming approach, 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


NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH)

Our WASH teams:

  • design, build and manage water and sanitation infrastructures within communities and at schools
  • inform students and communities on adequate hygiene practices
  • construct and rehabilitate small-scale water systems supporting agriculture and livestock activities


Protection from violence

Conflicts between communities have contributed to the humanitarian crisis in Mali. These conflicts generally stem from small disputes related to land ownership and the sharing of natural resources that have become scarce due to climatic effects and conflicts limiting the movement of populations in remote areas.

Our teams:

  • prevent and resolve conflicts between communities through a neutral restoration of communication between the parties to a conflict
  • hold regular training sessions for local actors involved in conflict resolution
  • ensure regular monitoring of the implementation of action plans drawn up by the parties to a conflict following mediation

We conduct rapid protection assessments and respond to specific protection needs of the most vulnerable people as we support community and community-based organisations. We implement plans for the reduction of protection risks and enable a community protective environment. All these activities, among others, are carried out in order to strengthen the protection of civilians in Mali.

Rapid response mechanism (RRM)

Through RRM, NRC addresses the urgent needs of populations affected by sudden shocks, such as displacement due to violence. Following a multisector rapid assessment to identify needs, NRC distributes immediate relief assistance before regular humanitarian programming takes on the next steps.


About NRC in Mali

International staff
Areas of operation
Bamako (Country Office), Gao, Timbuktu, Mopti, Ménaka, Segou
National staff


Country Director

Maclean Natugasha


+223 202 107 05