Ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Mali

Two people sleeping in front of the Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali Two people sleeping in front of the Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali Piccaya via Pexels

19 October 2022

Ten years of conflict and more and more frequent extreme weather events are taking a toll on people’s lives in Mali

Some alarming news regarding the condition of civilians in Mali was shared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’s Director of Operations, Martin Schüepp, and Director of Protection and Essential Services, Sarah Epprecht. After their September 2022 trip to the country, Schüepp has underlined how “the number of people who have been displaced or affected in some other way by the conflict is increasing.”

Since 2012, Mali is facing an unprecedented crisis: hundreds of civilians have been killed by jihadist groups, ethnic militias, and government security forces, while at least 320,000 people have been displaced by both the conflict and deteriorating climate conditions. As explained by Epprecht, “the combination of violence, repeated displacement and climate change have had a deep impact on people’s lives.”

As thoroughly explained by the ICRC, in recent years the Sahel has witnessed a rise in temperature, an increasing unpredictability of rainy seasons, and frequent periods of drought and flooding. All of these factors led to food insecurity, water scarcity, mass migration, and ultimately to tensions between local communities, sometimes resulting in violence.

The ICRC, together with volunteers from the Mali Red Cross, is working relentlessly to respond to people’s needs, not only by providing emergency relief, but also by rebuilding their livelihoods. Moreover, a large part of the ICRC job consists in improving people’s access to clean water.

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by Laura Maschio


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