We assist civilians as tensions in the country continue to rise and people are increasingly exposed to violence and food insecurity


For years, Mali has been marked by a complex political crisis that began in 2012 and has deteriorated over the years, leading to two coup d’état between 2020 and 2021 and recurring conflicts between the different armed groups in the country. These conflicts have intensified since August 2022, when the withdrawal of French troops from the country ended a nine-year military operation. The current transitional government postponed indefinitely the presidential elections that had previously been set, after tough negotiations with the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), for February 2024. As a result, tensions in the country continue to rise, with the risk of demonstrations and violence in the streets. These tensions could further escalate following the joint announcement last Jan. 28 that Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger would withdraw from Ecowas. This decision could have serious consequences for Mali’s already compromised economic situation.


Food insecurity


Since August 2023, conflict has intensified in the north of the country, largely under the control of Islamist militant groups, with an unprecedented impact on civilians: entire settlements and towns in the area have been completely abandoned by people seeking protection from the violence.

This constant insecurity makes access to agricultural land extremely difficult with serious repercussions on the food security of the population. The regions of Ségou and Mopti, known as the “granary of the country,” are the most affected by the lack of access due to the conflict. 25% of the population suffers from moderate to acute food insecurity, and nearly one million children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition.

In the Mopti region, INTERSOS distributes food and hygiene kits to the most vulnerable people and families, particularly women, girls, children and displaced people.


Women are increasingly exposed to violence


In areas where Islamist groups have established a stronger presence, violence against women and children is rampant. There is an increase in cases of sexual exploitation and abuse and recruitment of women and children by armed groups. Also increasingly present are the practices of forced marriage, trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation, forced and unpaid labor, and other forms of abuse. For displaced women and girls in desert locations with poor coverage of basic social services, the risk of being abused is also even higher.

Our teams work on raising community awareness about the risks of gender-based violence. They identify cases of violence and refer women to local services.


Working with local NGOs


In Mali we adopted an operational strategy based on localisation: we work with several local partners to promote a community-led humanitarian response, working on strengthening their operational, technical and organizational capacities. We have established partnerships with local NGOs Femme et Développement (FeDe), AMSS and Delta Survie. FeDe -Femmes et Développement- was the first organization identified as a partner. It is an NGO created by women and run by women, that helps Malian women in their empowerment process. We work with them on capacity building in the areas of protection, protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, and financial management.