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Mali: Humanitarian Response Plan (January-December 2018)

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Mali fell into crisis in 2012, triggering a massive humanitarian emergency that has left around 4.1 million people currently in need of assistance. While humanitarian assistance has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to survive, the situation has worsened in certain spheres and despite some progress in the implementation of the 2015 Algiers Peace Agreement, insecurity and violence have spread from the northern to the central regions, considerably increasing the vulnerability of people in more than half of the country.

About 5.1 million people, more than 27 per cent of the total population, lives in the areas affected by insecurity. Almost one in five Malians (2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview) is food insecure. According to the 2017 SMART survey, severe acute malnutrition has reached 2.6 per cent, well above the emergency threshold. The number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition increased from 142,00 in 2017 to 165,000 in 2018. Children suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die in case of illness because of a weakened immune system. The situation is particularly serious in the regions of Timbuktu and Gao, where more than 15 per cent of children under five suffer from malnutrition, ranging from “serious” to “critical” levels, according to the WHO classification scale.

Outside the conflict zones, chronic vulnerabilities specific to the countries of the Sahel region persist. In 2018, 4.1 million people will need food assistance, almost half of them in Koulikoro,
Sikasso and Segou regions of. In Kayes region, malnutrition rates are worryingly high, with more than 14 per cent affected by global acute malnutrition due to limited dietary diversity, poor hygiene and sanitation conditions and inadequate access to drinking water.

Faced with the deteriorating e situation, humanitarian actors are working with the Malian authorities and development actors to better articulate the priorities to address the causes of risks and vulnerabilities.

Malnutrition, lack of education and protection of children and young people, especially girls, is worrisome. The number of closed schools has increased significantly in recent months, from 297 in 2016 to 500 at the start of the 2017 - 2018 academic year.

However, the recent peace agreements, including the one signed on 20 September 2017 between the two main coalitions of armed groups present in the northern regions, could create more favourable conditions for the implementation of the action plans of the interim authorities, as well as promote the administration of the territory and the gradual restoration of basic social services, essential for the survival of local communities. The United Nations Security Council visit in October 2017 testified of the growing willingness of the international community to support the efforts of the Malian authorities to restore state authority throughout the country, protect the civilian population and encourage a solid foundation for post-conflict reconstruction and development.

Today, with this joint plan, the humanitarian actors are renewing their commitment alongside the Malian people. The world must stop perceiving this crisis only through security lenses. The current politico-security crisis goes hand in hand with the chronic vulnerabilities linked to natural hazards. Erratic rains, the early seasonal decline of Niger Delta waters and the silting of arable lands are some of the effects of climate change. These exacerbate food insecurity and malnutrition and trigger population displacement owing to tensions among communities.

The Malian Government and its partners have an opportunity to implement the Humanitarian-Development Nexus in line with the “New Way of Working” to which humanitarian and development actors, donors and Governments have committed to to end needs and address the causes of chronic human suffering.

Mbaranga Gasarabwe
Humanitarian Coordinator

Response Strategy

The humanitarian community in Mali requires $263 million to respond to 1.56 million people in need, particularly in terms of food security and nutrition (57 per cent of funding), protection (11 per cent), water, hygiene and sanitation (10 per cent), health emergencies (8 per cent) and education (8 per cent). This humanitarian response plan focuses on emergency response, while encouraging the adoption of lasting solutions in concert with development actors. It mainly targets the most vulnerable populations, taking into account the changing political and security context and the ability of actors to intervene on the ground.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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