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Mali - Humanitarian Brief (December 2017)

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More than five years after the escalation of conflict in northern Mali, progress has stagnated and new momentum is required to avoid a significant setback in Mali's recovery. The signature of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in 2015 opened a unique window of opportunity, but the Malian peace process has fallen short of expectations as implementation of the agreement remains delayed. Communities whose lives were shattered by the conflict have not yet seen tangible progress and remain highly vulnerable.

INCREASING HUMANITARIAN NEEDS

In 2017, the resurgence of intercommunal violence and clashes between armed groups triggered displacements and disrupted the livelihoods of thousands of families. Several communities affected by the conflict still struggle to access food, water, healthcare, education, protection and livelihood opportunities. In some areas, the persisting insecurity continues to prevent the deployment of State and development actors. For many families, humanitarian actors are the sole providers of essential services. The conflict has further exacerbated the vulnerability of communities, whose capacity to withstand shocks has been eroded by repetitive droughts, foods, epidemics and chronic poverty. Mali ranks 175 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index.

Emergency aid remains necessary to save lives and facilitate recovery. Government and development partners' efforts to address the root causes of chronic food insecurity, malnutrition and structural problems in the delivery of basic services will take years to demonstrate tangible results.

In 2018, 4.1 million people, representing 22% of the Malian population, will be food insecure (up from 3.8 million in 2017), including 800,000 people who will require urgent food assistance.
Malnutrition remains a serious concern, with 165,000 children projected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition, and 115,000 pregnant or lactating women requiring nutrition assistance. In Mali, the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 10.7% and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) rate of 2.6% exceed the emergency thresholds established by the World Health Organization of 10% and 2% for GAM and SAM, respectively.

In addition, 908,000 million Malians, largely in northern regions, need water, sanitation and hygiene assistance. Lack of access to potable water constitutes a risk for conflict, as communities compete for limited water resources for themselves, but also for livestock and agricultural activities.

About 500 schools (up from 300 during the same period last year) remain closed in central and northern Mali, and 2,700 teachers have not returned or been deployed to their posts due to insecurity and the influence of extremist groups opposing education. Central Mali is particularly affected with 277 schools closed in the Mopti region.

Non-functional schools will affect the education of 300,000 children. Out of school children that cannot reintegrate the education system are exposed to higher recruitment risks by non-state armed actors and criminal groups. In particular, girls remain at higher risk of exposure to violence in the absence of access to education.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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