About the Situation
By the Numbers
Nearly 15 million people live in Mali
44% of the people of Mali live below the national poverty line
1 in 8 children will die before age 5
(Sources: United Nations and the World Bank)
Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, with social indicators also among the lowest of any country. School enrollment rates are low, and only one-third of adults are literate. Infant mortality and under-5 death rates are high, and life expectancy at birth is only 55 years.
Families’ economic well-being is highly vulnerable to the weather and to regional security situations. Recent years have been rough, as lingering effects of a severe 2011 drought mixed with the onset of new violence, which combined to put my families in hardship. A 2013 assessment found that three-quarters of households in northern regions were moderately or severely food insecure.
When sufficient food is hard to procure, health care is even more difficult to attain, and preventable illnesses take a heavy toll on the population. Malaria accounts for half of outpatient health-care visits among children; yet it remains a primary cause of death. According to most recent figures, only half of births in Mali are attended by a trained worker. Meanwhile access to clean, safe water is an ongoing challenge, and less than a quarter of the country has access to improved sanitation facilities.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic ReliefTM has been working in Mali since 1997, helping victims of the country’s civil war recover from the devastation of conflict. Following its initial relief efforts, Islamic Relief’s focus shifted toward development projects to reduce the population’s vulnerability to drought and illness.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in Mali:
ORPHAN SUPPORT & SPONSORSHIP
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
CHILD FRIENDLY VILLAGE
This program helped provide universal primary education, reduced child mortality, improved maternal health, promoted gender equality and empower women, and ensured environmental sustainability in communities that are home to more 34,209 people in southern Mali.
EMERGENCY & RECOVERY SUPPORT TO AFFECTED COMMUNITIES IN GOURMA RHAROUS
This project aims to improve communities’ food security status; the nutritional levels of school children; and livelihood assets by providing food-related cash-for-work activities. More than 54,900 people stand to benefit.
Islamic Relief was on the ground in Mali and Niger to provide vital aid to millions affected by severe drought conditions and food shortages across the Sahel region. Estimates suggest that some 4.6 million people in Mali risked food insecurity. Islamic Relief provided services such as water and food distribution and health care.
Islamic Relief helped provide malaria prevention and treatment to many throughout Mali. In addition to the distribution of mosquito nets, radio broadcast messages on malaria prevention helped educate millions on the disease and how to stop it. Malaria centers were equipped with medicines. In the Bamko region specifically, more than 120,000 people benefited from a program dedicated to bringing awareness, education and preventative health screenings to protect high-risk individuals from contracting malaria. Treatments were also administered to help those who already have malaria survive.
MALI VULNERABLE CHILDREN
IR constructed and equipped school facilities and a rural maternity center to improve health care, education, water and sanitation for more than 27,000 residents in Djitoumou. Locals were trained on techniques for sustainability so that they could learn the skills necessary to maintain the services independently.
MALI WATER AND SANITATION PROJECT
More than 26,600 people living in Kaiti, Koulikoro, received assistance in improving access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. This project helped raise awareness about water conversation and eco-friendly practices, and trained community members accordingly.
NORTH MALI FOOD SOVEREIGNTY
This project aims to provide the residents of Gouma Rharous with the capacity to develop agriculture and irrigation facilities that will promote sustainable food security and income-generation mechanisms to empower the community.
SCHOOL AND HEALTH KITS FOR CHILDREN IN MALI
IRUSA worked with a Gifts-in-Kind-participating organization and Islamic Relief Mali to send a container of educational and health-related materials for children. Packages included schoolbags, small chalkboards, pencils, calculators, and more, as well as hygiene packets and an instructional brochure for guidance.