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Basic Indicators

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report

Population: 13,010,000 (2009)
National language: French, Bambara
Per capita income: US$ 680/year (2009)
Life expectancy: 49 (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources:
56% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities:
36% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 191/1,000 live births (2009)

Sponsor a child today! Mali is a landlocked country located in Western Africa. It shares borders with seven other countries, most notably Algeria and Mauritania to the north. Nearly 65 percent of Mali is dominated by the Sahara Desert.

In fact, the scarcity of fertile farmland and other important natural resources makes Mali one of the world’s poorest countries. Roughly 80 percent of Mali's population depends upon subsistence-level farming and fishing. Cotton and gold are Mali's primary exports.

Plan works in Mali with children and their families in 292 communities, focusing on food security and improving farming techniques. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.

Hear from the children

An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World". Read what the children have to say about their lives.