The Peacebuilding Fund in Mali

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Peacebuilding Challenges

Since 2012, Mali has faced volatile crisis as ethnic-based movements, jihadist groups and transnational criminal networks fight for control of territories in the North. Mali has been confronted by a profound crisis with serious political, security, socio-economic, humanitarian and human rights consequences. The crisis stems from long-standing structural conditions such as weak State institutions; ineffective governance; fragile social cohesion; deep-seated feelings among communities in the north of being neglected, marginalized and unfairly treated by the central Government; a weak and externally dependent civil society; and the effects of environmental degradation, climate change and economic shocks.

These conditions were exacerbated by more recent factors of instability, including corruption, nepotism, abuse of power, internal strife and deteriorating capacity of the national army. Following negotiations between the government and two rebel coalitions, a Peace Agreement was signed in 2015. While the agreement does not envision autonomous status for Mali’s northern regions, it does include some principles of decentralization. But the implementation of the agreement is challenging. Three years later, insecurity continues to spread across Mali. Ceasefire violations persist and institutional reforms are stagnant, while violent extremist and terrorist groups have increased their operations with new armed groups emerging.

PBF Investments in Mali

  • Total allocation: $27.2 million invested since 2014

  • Current portfolio: $11.7 million

Focusing on:

  • Support to the justice and security sectors

  • Dialogue and reconciliation

Partners: UNESCO, IOM, UNICEF, UN Women, OHCHR, UNDP, UNHCR, WFP, FAO, Mercy Corps in close collaboration with MINUSMA.

PBF Intervention

The Peacebuilding Fund has been involved in Mali since early 2014, when the peace agreement was still being negotiated. Since then, the Fund has invested close to USD $16.5 million in the country, with projects focused on dialogue and reconciliation; support to the justice and security sectors; restoration of state authority; and community reintegration of refugees and displaced people. Recognizing that communitylevel engagement is a critical component of sustaining peace,
PBF is programming a new USD 8 million phase of support with a focus on local governance and community-based conflict resolution in Mopti and Segou.

Sexual violence is still prevalent in Mali, and to address this problem, a gender section was established within the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, which is tasked with investigating human rights violations committed in Mali between 1960 and 2013. The PBF also supported a holistic approach to tackling gender-based violence, ensuring that gender-sensitive principles are integrated by key national institutions. To that end, the PBF supported the National Police in adopting a 2018-2020 Action Plan on gender. It also supported the National Assembly in reviewing a draft genderbased violence law, and helped with the submission to local tribunals of 329 gender-based violence cases, including 157 cases of sexual violence.