Since 2012, Mali has been torn by conflict that is part of a wider regional crisis affecting the Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger). Indiscriminate attacks by armed groups against civilians, as well as attacks on state institutions, including schools and health facilities, are the latest drivers of displacement in a region already struggling with climate change and extreme poverty.
In 2018, the fighting between armed groups competing for control has gradually spread to central Mali, sparking an increase in violence, insecurity and serious violations of international humanitarian law.
As a result, thousands of Malians have left the country, many for neighbouring Mauritania. In Mbera, nearly 70,000 refugees have found refuge from the conflict.
EU-funded humanitarian projects help vulnerable refugees in Mauritania, who have no other means of survival. EU assistance focuses on food aid, protection, and providing education to children who missed their schooling due to humanitarian crises.
Story by Hilaire Avril, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.
Photos: ©UNICEF Mauritania/Raphael Pouget, 2021.