Breaking the Spiral of the Food and Nutrition Crisis in Mali (April 2022)


Mali is facing its worst food and nutrition crisis in a decade. At the end of 2021, the Harmonized Framework estimated that 1.2 million people were in food crisis in Mali, and this number was projected to rise to 1.8 million by the June 2022 agricultural lean season. This increase is likely to be larger and faster than anticipated in areas affected by early pastoral and agricultural lean periods due to accelerated depletion of stocks, uneven renewal of pastures, unusually high prices, and the impact of insecurity. The most affected regions are mainly, with the exception of northern Koulikoro and Kayes, areas affected by both insecurity and the poor distribution of 2021 rains, particularly the central and northern areas bordering Burkina Faso and Niger.

Food insecurity combined with problems of anaemia, inadequate access to clean water and the spread of childhood diseases such as diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, malaria and measles are leading to a worrying rise in levels of acute malnutrition across the country. The number of acutely malnourished children aged 6-59 months is expected to increase by 53% compared to last year, reaching 1.2 million children between September 2021 and August 2022. Among them, cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) are expected to increase by 48% to 309,824 children. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) projections, if nothing is done by June 2022 to significantly increase the prevention and management of malnutrition, the share of administrative circles facing serious or critical levels of malnutrition (phases 3 and 4) is expected to rise from 19% to 82%.