Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition, education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- Mali is experiencing a multidimensional crisis that is driven by conflict, sociopolitical instability, climate change and the impact of the war in Ukraine. The number of people in need increased from 7.5 million in January 2022 to 8.8 million in January 2023, an increase of 17 per cent, illustrating the worsening humanitarian needs. Grave violations of children’s rights continue, while displacement remains a major concern, with 375,539 people internally displaced.
- UNICEF will implement an integrated, coordinated and gender-sensitive response that contributes to building peaceful and inclusive communities while strengthening the linkages between humanitarian action, development and peace. Interventions are designed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and communities.
- In 2023, UNICEF is requesting US$119.04 million to reach 3.6 million people in Mali, including 3.1 million children, with critical humanitarian assistance. Sectors requiring the most funding are nutrition, child protection, education and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Key planned results for 2023
1.1 million children vaccinated against measles
206,700 children with severe wasting admitted for treatment
384,783 children/caregivers accessing community-based mental health and psychosocial support
415,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity and quality of water
Funding requirements for 2023
Country needs and strategy
The persistence of the multidimensional crisis in Mali, triggered by the armed conflict that extends to the south, intercommunal clashes; sociopolitical instability; adverse weather events linked to climate change; the protracted effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic; and the impact of the war in Ukraine results in a worrying humanitarian situation with a negative impact on the civilian population and the humanitarian access. 8.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country, including 4.4 million women, 4.7 million children and 1.3 million people living with disabilities. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has reached 375,539 people, of whom 54 per cent are women and 57 per cent are children. Conflict-related violence has led to a protection crisis with repeated human rights violations, including grave violations of children's rights; 1.6 million children are in need of protection. Gender-based violence affects a significant number of women and girls, and many families adopt negative coping mechanisms to deal with shocks. The educational system is impacted by the insecurity with attacks on infrastructure and personnel, leading to the closure of 1,766 schools and depriving more than 500,000 students of their right to education; 3.9 million children are in need of education support.
Food insecurity and malnutrition are prevalent and aggravated in several areas: the prevalence of GAM is 10.8 per cent and SAM at 2.1 per cent at the national level against respectively 10 per cent and 1.8 per cent in 2021. About 1.5 million children under five were estimated at elevated risk from wasting between June 2022 to May 2023, including 367,000 cases of severe wasting. 1.1 million people could be food insecure, including about 2,500 people experiencing famine during the lean season.
Displacement puts pressure on existing infrastructure, and the rate of access to water in areas receiving displaced people is less than 50 per cent. 3.2 million people are in need of emergency water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance. A measles epidemic was recorded in more than half of the health districts in 2022; two cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus were reported in two regions of northern Mali (Taoudenit and Menaka) in early 2023 and the health system is suffering from the absence of medical personnel in several localities. 5.1 million people need emergency health assistance. Meanwhile the coverage of social protection programmes is very limited, and urgent expansion of social assistance is needed to cover the increasing proportion of the population facing multiple and significant vulnerabilities.
UNICEF will focus on strengthening the linkages between humanitarian action and development to build inclusive and resilient communities and systems. UNICEF will emphasize community engagement, risk communication and the participation of women and girls; scale up accountability to affected populations; expand gender-, youth- and disability-responsive programming; and strengthen the principle of 'do no harm'.
UNICEF will provide technical assistance to authorities to strengthen emergency preparedness and response system at the national and sub-national levels.
UNICEF will build on its comparative advantage in localization to foster linkages with national social protection systems by supporting a child-sensitive approach and strengthening of coordination and governance systems. Financial support will facilitate families' access to goods and services that meet the essential needs of children, in line with Grand Bargain commitments.
UNICEF will lead the WASH, education and nutrition clusters and the child protection area of responsibility to ensure an integrated and coordinated response while strengthening conflict-sensitive, gender-responsive and child-centered policies and local development plans.
Through an integrated package of services, UNICEF will address both acute and chronic malnutrition through early detection of wasting and provision of quality nutrition care to severely wasted children. To reduce malnutrition in the long-term, UNICEF’s response aims to increase the proportion of infants aged 0-5 months who are exclusively breastfed to 46 per cent and the proportion of children aged 6-23 months who are receiving the minimum dietary diversity to 24 per cent (by 2025).
UNICEF will continue to support national immunization campaigns, outbreak response and essential maternal, neonatal and child health services. Systems strengthening will include the provision of equipment, medicines and commodities. Infection prevention and control interventions will be implemented in communities and facilities, and crisis-affected people will gain access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
UNICEF and partners will undertake activities for gender-based violence risk mitigation and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in all sectors. Children experiencing psychosocial distress, children released from armed groups, unaccompanied and separated children, and survivors of gender-based violence will be reached with services including mental health and psychosocial support, family reunification and socioeconomic reintegration. Strengthening the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on grave violations of child rights will enhance evidence-based advocacy and response.
The most vulnerable children will gain access to quality education, in protective, safe and clean learning environment, including through conflict and disaster risk reduction and alternative education activities.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Mali; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.