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Christian Aid in Mali

Mali is home to more than 12 million people, the vast majority of whom rely on farming to survive.

Due to rising temperatures which leave many regions more vulnerable to drought and increasing food prices, most Malians face challenges in feeding themselves and their families.

Mali was severely affected by the drought and food shortages that affected West Africa in 2010 and 2012 and left millions of people seriously short of food.

Conflict and unrest

Though long considered one of the most stable countries in the region, Mali experienced political unrest in March 2012 when a military coup overthrew President Toure’s regime. Power was subsequently handed over to an interim civilian government.

Fighting broke out in northern Mali in 2012, when rebels from the Tuareg ethnic group were joined by Islamist military groups and mercenaries returning home after fighting for the Gaddafi regime in Libya. The rebels took advantage of the confusion caused by the coup to seize much of the north of the country.

An international intervention led by the French supported the Malian army to regain control of the northern region. The conflict has intensified the suffering in West Africa and exacerbated the food shortages.


The changing climate in Mali is affecting up to 80% of the population who rely on farming. The rainy season has become less predictable, leaving vital river beds dry and farmers without enough water to grow sufficient crops.

Food crisis

We work with partner organisations that support families to grow food and adapt their farming techniques to the changing climate, making them self-sufficient and more resilient during food crises.

Mali is still suffering the effects of a food crisis and we have been working through local partners to provide food assistance, carrying out cash transfers (allowing people to choose what food they want to buy) and running food for work programmes. Our partners have also been providing rice and cereal to displaced families.

Find out more about our humanitarian work during the food crisis.

Our vision in Sahel

Our vision is a greener Sahel region with an empowered population.

We want to see:

  • Sahelian communities become more secure, profitable, and resilient, and adapted to prevent and manage risks at local and national level
  • women and men gaining equitable and sustainable access to local, national and sub-regional markets with agricultural products
  • women and men have their capacity strengthened to influence public policy affecting their livelihoods and exercise their right to be heard locally and nationally.

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