Caritas Luxembourg has been present in Mali for many years in the framework of its emergency, rehabilitation and development projects.
Mali has a total population of over 22 million, with an average age of 21 and a life expectancy of 59 years. 47% of the population is under the age of 15. Due to the country's complex situation, this young population faces many challenges. In addition to an increasingly unstable security situation, with conflicts in the north of the country increasingly moving towards the centre and south, and resulting in 390,000 internally displaced persons, the country is experiencing political and socio-economic difficulties. Economic growth is not very inclusive and has little impact on human development and poverty. In fact, the country ranks 186th out of 191 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI). Some 7.1 million people have been identified as being in need of humanitarian aid, including 2.5 million who are food insecure.
The Malian population is also facing problems linked to climate change: a drier climate, less frequent and increasingly unpredictable rainfall accompanied by droughts, more fragile ecosystems, etc. The majority of the population lives in rural areas, so agriculture is their main source of income and accounts for a very large proportion of the country's workforce. With climate change altering the meteorological conditions that have dictated agricultural campaigns for decades, these populations are all the more vulnerable to the climate crisis, seeing their living environment and their sector of activity directly impacted. Aware of the need to take account of this important variant, our projects always aim to invest in this reality, always including components linked to climate change or making it the main objective.
The projects set up by Caritas Luxembourg and its network of Caritas partners in Mali focus mainly on agriculture and food security, always with the primary aim of helping the most vulnerable groups and paying particular attention to the situation of women.
Development projects are underway in the south and west of the country. Their aim is to help improve the living conditions of rural populations by enhancing food security and market access. To achieve this, various types of action are being implemented: training on subjects as varied as the sustainable management of natural resources or improved and sustainable production techniques, local capacity building (materials, equipment, marketing, sustainable empowerment), hydraulic drilling to create efficient irrigation systems, support for the organisation of market garden producers into cooperatives, etc.
In the current context of major conflicts in the north of the country, our emergency project is being implemented in Bamako, where a growing number of internally displaced people are seeking refuge in the capital in search of better economic opportunities, anonymity and security. Through our local partner, we are implementing actions to enable displaced populations to cover their basic needs in terms of housing, water and hygiene, education and health.
Hunger continues to devastate South Sudan. In the region where Caritas Luxembourg is based, almost half the population is currently experiencing acute food insecurity.
Caritas Luxembourg firmly condemns the terrorist act by Hamas and the hostage-taking of innocent people, and reiterates the importance of respecting international humanitarian law, which guarantees the protection of civilians during armed conflicts.
The Caritas network is mobilised to help people in Morocco, Libya and Greece.