Living Conditions in MaliMali is a Western African country with a population of over 21 million people. And like many impoverished African countries, Mali faces various challenges such as low school attendance rates, poor hygiene and gender inequality. This article outlines the challenges when it comes to living conditions in Mali and efforts to change the status quo.


UNICEF has reported that over two million Malian children between the ages of 5 to 17 do not attend school due to child marriage, child labor and a lack of schools in the country. To address this issue, UNICEF has partnered with the Ministry of National Education to improve school attendance rates, especially for vulnerable children. In 2019, the organization helped over 200,000 Malian children return to school, providing equal opportunities to all.

Increasing Access To Water and Sanitation

Mali struggles with poor-quality water and sanitation, and this affects the health of millions of people in the country. WaterAid has installed clean water taps and handwashing stations, allowing locals to live healthier lives. In Bamako, WaterAid worked with locals to fix the water tower and toilets in Lafiabogou, which supports the AMALDEME Medical Educational System aiding 600 children with learning difficulties.

Using Sustainable Agriculture To Combat Food Insecurity

Inflation and food insecurity are major issues in Mali due to war and other factors. The World Bank has approved a $30 million credit from the International Development Association to improve agricultural productivity and alleviate food insecurity for rural households living in drylands. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also invests in their Feed The Future Programme to support the farming of cereals and livestock, contributing to the nutrition of people in Mali and keeping farming families in business.

Rights for Women

Gender inequality remains a significant societal issue in Mali. Statistics from SOS Children’s Villages show that an estimated 92% of women in Mali have undergone Female Genital Mutilation. Teenage marriages are also common for Malian women with approximately 75% of women in the country being married by the age of 18.

As presented by Together Women Rise, in 2013, Mali Health’s Health Savings program was created to improve the healthcare of Women in slums in Bamako. Since then, the project has expanded and now serves seven communities and 3,335 women in Bamako. Mali Health’s community health workers use the project to facilitate links between local communities and clinics.

The aim of providing these links with women and health clinics is so they can receive health education surrounding reproductive care and child nutrition. The health project also allows women to come together in a safe social environment in which they can learn behaviors that promote everyday health practices which can reduce the frequency of illness in the area.

Looking Ahead

Despite the challenges, charitable organizations offer hope for the future of Mali. By improving education, access to water and sanitation, agriculture and women’s rights, Malians can live safe and healthy lives while accessing equal opportunities.

– Freddie Trevanion
Photo: Flickr

Hunger in MaliMali, the eighth-largest country in Africa sits landlocked in the western region of the continent. Hunger in Mali is often driven by drought and conflict in the region. There have been three major droughts that affected Mali in the last decade. In March 2012, the country faced a coup and a rebellion in the north.

According to a report from the World Food Programme, approximately 475,000 people were displaced from their homes after a major conflict in the northern part of the country. The country also suffered from food insecurity and faced issues of nutrition during this time.

In the northern regions of Mali, including Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, about one-fifth of the households experience food shortages. Additionally, approximately 15 percent of children are afflicted with acute malnutrition in Mali, according to the report.

According to an article from Action Against Hunger, rates of malnutrition in Mali “exceed the critical threshold on a national level.” Specifically, the Sahel region of northern Mali is perpetually in a state of nutrition emergency.

Since 1996, Action Against Hunger has provided treatment for malnourished Malians and helped to develop support malnutrition management in public health facilities.

In 2015, the World Food Programme reported that 2.5 million Malians were struggling to feed their families, and just over 300,000 of the country’s residents were considered to be in need of severe food assistance.

The report also stated that over half of the women in Mali are anemic. Furthermore, approximately 80 percent of children in Mali suffer from anemia.

Hunger in Mali is also worsened by over half the country living below the national poverty line. However, aid from global organizations has helped Mali in respect to food insecurity.

According to their report, the World Food Programme utilizes a cross-border operation from Niger to transport food to northern Mali. This organization also assists the country’s residents by providing them with cash to purchase fresh produce.

While hunger in Mali remains a pressing issue, the stress of food insecurity has the potential to be lessened by global organizations.

Leah Potter

Photo: Flickr