Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Mali

April 12, 2018Situation

Food for Peace Mali Map
  • Recurrent natural disasters and severe poverty contribute to chronic malnutrition and hunger in Mali, while civil conflict since 2012 has exacerbated food insecurity and spurred population displacement. As of early 2018, the Government of Mali and the UN estimated that there were approximately 47,700 internally displaced persons within Mali and 136,400 Malian refugees in neighboring countries. Overall, nearly 44 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line, according to the World Bank. A mid-2017 national nutrition survey found that almost 11 percent of children were acutely malnourished, with malnutrition levels in Timbuktu and Gao regions exceeding the UN World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of 15 percent.
  • A recent Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis projected that approximately 933,000 people in Mali—5 percent of the population—will require emergency food assistance between June and August 2018, the peak of the agropastoral lean season.* Needs have increased since the same period in 2017, when an estimated 601,000 Malians needed emergency assistance. Production shortfalls in some areas of the country are leaving households facing food shortages earlier in the year than normal. Civil conflict, above-average staple food prices and premature pasture degeneration are also intensifying food insecurity.
  • The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) anticipates that poor populations in parts of Gao, Kayes, Koulikoro, Mopti and Timbuktu regions will face Stressed (IPC 2) levels of food insecurity through September, with some impoverished households experiencing Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity in the absence of humanitarian assistance.

* The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity.  The IPC scale, comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5). The CH, a similar tool used only in West Africa, has a separate scale ranging from Minimal (Phase 1) to Famine (Phase 5).


  • In Mali, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) works with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to respond to the urgent food needs of populations affected by displacement, natural disasters or other shocks through in-kind or market-based household food distributions.  In addition, FFP supports WFP to deliver supplementary nutrition assistance to prevent malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women. Through the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), FFP also provides ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat severely malnourished children.
  • In collaboration with non-governmental organization (NGO) partners, FFP distributes locally and regionally procured food, cash transfers and food vouchers to vulnerable Malians to both improve household access to food and spur market recovery. These NGOs are also helping to protect households’ livelihoods and reduce their vulnerability to destabilizing shocks, such as drought.   
  • FFP partners with NGO CARE to implement a long-term development intervention to benefit approximately 270,000 individuals in the Mopti region. The activities aim to strengthen food and nutrition security among poor households and focus on nutrition promotion, livelihood diversification, resilience building, conflict reduction and governance enhancement.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $10.0 million 4,820 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $39.9 million 11,255 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $31.8 million 6,968 MT

* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. 


Country Specific Information

Related Resources



Last updated: April 13, 2018

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