Despite the signing of a Peace Agreement in 2015, ongoing insecurity and violence has fuelled an increase in humanitarian needs in Mali, particularly in the northern and central regions. Climate change, chronic food shortages, natural disasters and forced displacements have all compounded the situation and disproportionately affect children and women, who continue to bear the brunt of the crisis. In 2019, 1.6 million children will need humanitarian assistance. Meanwhile, humanitarian access remains a challenge and UNICEF works relentlessly with partners to deliver life-saving assistance to the children that need it most.
Responding to increasing humanitarian needs
To reduce the impact of conflict and natural disasters on the population, UNICEF in Mali supports the development and implementation of preparedness planning and rapid response to humanitarian crises across each of UNICEF’s programmes. UNICEF supports the Ministry of Solidarity and Humanitarian Action as well as other Government entities and works hand in hand with civil society partners, OCHA, WFP, UNHCR and IOM to provide essential social services to affected communities.
In particular, UNICEF in Mali supports:
- Response to the nutrition crisis through providing lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition, contributing to strengthening the Ministry of Health’s integrated management of acute malnutrition, and scaling up preventive hygiene and feeding practices;
- Provision of safe drinking water at the community level through trucking in fresh water and distributing kits for home-based treatment of water as well as construction and rehabilitation of water points for permanent water access;
- Provision of comprehensive child protection support comprising psychosocial support and reintegration services for children associated with armed groups and survivors of gender-based violence;
- Uninterrupted learning for children in insecure areas through advocacy for the reopening of schools, setting up community learning centres and provision of school supplies to the most vulnerable children.