Mali faces an extremely complex humanitarian emergency. People in Northern Mali have gone through a succession of food crises in the last decade, which has significantly weakened the livelihoods of the poorest families, in addition to the conflict that began with a coup in 2012, which involves government forces, separatists groups and radical Islamist militias. Despite a peace agreement signed by some of the armed actors in 2015, peace is hard to restore in Northern Mali. The security situation is volatile and humanitarian needs are increasing while access for humanitarian organisations remains very challenging.
Insecurity impedes access to basic services in the north and centre of the country, which has left 3.7 million people dependant on international humanitarian aid. It is expected that less than half of those in need can be reached in 2017. Insecurity also hampers humanitarian organisations from reaching those in need of aid.
Close to 52 000 people are internally displaced within Mali. Both Internally Displaced Persons and host communities are in need of support, including food assistance, access to health care and water. More than 140 000 Malians continue to live as refugees in camps in neighbouring countries: Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso, where assistance has to be maintained. Humanitarian needs are also increasing due to the inter-community clashes in Central Mali and as a consequence of the agro-pastoral situation in the north.
Acute malnutrition levels exceed emergency thresholds in some areas, while food insecurity looms over the most vulnerable families, especially in Northern Mali. Over this lean season, 3.8 million people are food insecure, out of which 600 000 need emergency food assistance. The prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition is 11.5%, while Severe Malnutrition is 2.3%, and as such above the 2% threshold requiring immediate intervention.
The European Union is a major contributor of relief assistance to Mali. Since the beginning of the crisis in 2012, the European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has allocated more than €195 million in humanitarian aid to the country.
EU Humanitarian Aid partners are providing both cash and in-kind food assistance, protection, health care, safe water and necessary items. Over 80% of the EU's humanitarian response contributes to assistance to people in the northern and central regions affected by the conflict.
An estimated 90% of health structures in the north deliver essential services and medicine thanks to EU and its humanitarian partners. EU humanitarian funding ensures basic health and nutrition care to around 990 000 people.
The European Commission's humanitarian air service, ECHO Flight, serves secondary routes in the north, thus facilitating the movement of humanitarian workers and provisions to the most inaccessible areas. The European Commission also financially supports the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). In 2016, 4 864 passengers and 3.8 MT of cargo have been transported in Mali to support humanitarian assistance in the field.
For Malian refugees in Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso, the provision of shelter, first need items, food rations, water and sanitation, protection, health and nutrition care is being maintained.
Since 2011, the European Commission has significantly contributed every year to the treatment of severe acute malnutrition throughout the country. This has helped to drastically increase the number of children who receive life-saving care, which has almost doubled since 2012.