Mali is home to more than 12 million people, the vast majority of whom rely on subsistence farming to survive. Due to rising temperatures which leave many regions more vulnerable to drought and increasing food prices, most Malians face challenges in feeding themselves and their families.
In 2010, Mali was one of several countries to be affected by severe food shortages in the Sahel region of west Africa. Two years later, poor rains and inadequate harvests made the situation harder still, with millions of Malians left seriously short of food.
Unrest: though long considered one of the most stable countries in the region, Mali experienced political unrest in March 2012 when a military coup overthrew President Toure’s regime. Power was subsequently handed over to an interim civilian government ahead of new elections.
Conflict: fighting broke out in northern Mali in early 2012, when rebels from the Tuareg ethnic group were joined by Islamist military groups and mercenaries returning home after fighting for the Gaddafi regime in Libya. The rebels took advantage of the confusion caused by the coup to seize much of the north of the country.
Climate: the changing climate in Mali is affecting up to 80% of the population who rely on farming. The rainy season has become less predictable, leaving vital river beds dry and farmers without enough water to grow sufficient crops.
Christian Aid works with partner organisations that support families to grow food and adapt their farming techniques to the changing climate, making them self-sufficient and more resilient during food crises.
We work to give Malians the tools to advocate to their government for more investment in agriculture and to ensure the rights of women farmers.
• ADAC provides seeds and new techniques to women rice producers, and has successfully influenced government policy in favour of women working in agriculture. It lobbies for female ownership of land and for government budgeting and investment in farming.
• MFC works with local communities on projects spanning from environmental protection and access to clean drinking water to technology transfer and training, and the provision of clean energy to rural communities that currently have no electricity supply at all.
• APH supports farming communities, educates on environmental protection and soil conservation, as well as promoting women’s development and income generating activities.
• GRAT provides technical training and literacy classes for fishermen and women, whose livelihood has been affected by changes to the climate and environmental degradation.
What you can do
• Help us continue our work in Mali by donating to our west Africa food crisis appeal.
• Help us eradicate poverty and injustice by taking action.
• West Africa food crisis appeal – keep up to date with our response and personal stories from the area.
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