The Conflict in Mali
Plan has been operating in Mali for nearly 40 years, including response efforts during the severe food crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa last year, specifically with support to Malian refugees in Niger and Burkina Faso. Plan currently works with 1,100 community-based organizations to deliver aid to 1.8 million people.
Understanding the Conflict
Since the crisis began in 2012, 376,000 people, mainly women and children, have been displaced from their homes. Almost a quarter of a million people are now internally displaced while others have fled to neighboring countries such as Niger and Burkina Faso.
Recent clashes between armed insurgents, the Malian National Army, and international forces have been occurring over the past week. Having originally fled to Mopti, over 31,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), are now moving southward towards Ségou and Bamako.
Prior to the recent armed-conflicts, more than 2 million people were at risk of food insecurity; 510,000 of these people were in immediate need of food and 1 million were at risk of food insecurity. Over 600,000 children are now at risk of acute malnutrition and 1.5 million are at risk of epidemics caused by poor water and sanitation facilities.
Since farmers have been unable to resume their work, humanitarian aid organizations now fear that another food crisis is fast-approaching.
Plan’s Initial Response
In 2012, Plan began responding to the Malian Conflict through the provision and distribution of food and non-food related items. Non-food related items are primarily delivered through the distribution of Dignity kits. These kits include the following items: toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, feminine-hygiene products, clothing, bed linens, mosquito nets, and head scarves.
Since children are often the most vulnerable in times of crisis, their safety, security, and welfare is a key priority for Plan. In emergency situations, their risk to abuse, sexual violence, early or forced marriage, and trafficking increases. As a result of this reality, the focus of Plan’s emergency response will be to ensure that children have food, shelter, access to proper sanitation, psychological support, and protection.
“The emotional welfare of children whose lives have suddenly become disrupted is one of our major concerns,” said Plan’s Country Director Michelet William from Bamako, “we are therefore setting up safe places for them to come together, interact, and play which will go a long way in addressing the emotional challenges they face.”
Realizing that many of the displaced have relocated to neighboring countries, Plan is also managing refugee camps in the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso and Niger.
Plan’s Current Response Plan
In Mali, Plan’s emergency response program includes:
- Distributing food to 3,710 households/communities
- Distributing Non-Food Items (NFIs) to 900 households/communities
- Setting up Food for Work programs that will benefit 3,594 households
- Distributing school kits for 2,100 students
- Providing catch-up classes for 591 students
- Providing catch-up exams for 97 students
- Distributing classroom kits for 25 schools
- Providing school meals for 2,315 students
- Setting up 8 Child Friendly Spaces (CFS)
It should be noted that lack of access to key conflict areas has hindered the delivery of additional aid and now the need is substantially greater.
In the neighboring countries of Niger & Burkina Faso, Plan’s emergency response program includes:
- Setting up catch-up classes for refugee children
- Awarding scholarships that enable refugee children to attend school
- Distributing food and non-food items
- Setting up Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) so that children can learn, play, and grow in a safe environment
While Plan has launched emergency response teams to aid those affected, additional funds are still needed.
To help us provide Disaster Relief and Recovery support, please visit our "Disaster Relief & Recovery" donation page.
Your tax-deductible contribution will be used to support Plan's Disaster Relief and Recovery programs wherever the need is greatest. Currently, the need in Mali is vast and urgent.