Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Mali

Map of Mali

January 9, 2020

Recurrent natural disasters and severe poverty contribute to hunger in Mali, while civil conflict since 2012 has exacerbated food insecurity and spurred population displacement, both within Mali and to neighboring countries.    


  • Escalating intercommunal violence and attacks by armed groups in northern and central Mali are driving surging population displacement.  As of December 2019, the Government of Mali and the UN estimated that there were nearly 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mali, compared to 63,000 IDPs reported in June 2018.  Additionally, nearly 139,000 Malian refugees have sought shelter in neighboring Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger.
  • Conflict, displacement, and flooding continue to limit livelihood opportunities for vulnerable Malian households, restricting their ability to meet basic needs.  Approximately 648,000 people in Mali required urgent food assistance from October to December 2019, the November Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis indicates.*  If insecurity continues to limit economic and agricultural activities, approximately 1.1 million Malians will likely face Crisis (IPC 3) or worse levels of acute food insecurity during the June-to-August peak of the lean season—the period when food is most scarce—according to the CH.
  • According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, the October-to-December main harvest has increased food availability throughout the country.  However, given the likelihood of continued conflict and already high emergency needs, an urgent scale-up of assistance will likely be required to prevent worsening acute food insecurity conditions among conflict-affected households. 

* 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).


  • USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) collaborates with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to respond to the urgent food needs of populations affected by displacement, natural disasters or other shocks in Mali through in-kind or cash-based food distributions.  Through the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), FFP provides ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat an estimated 33,000 severely malnourished children.
  • FFP works with non-governmental organization (NGO) partners to distribute locally and regionally procured food, cash transfers or food vouchers to about 209,000 vulnerable Malians, improving access to food and spurring market recovery.  These NGOs are also working 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 124,000 individuals in Mopti Region.  The activities aim to strengthen food and nutrition security among poor households, focusing on nutrition and hygiene promotion, livelihood diversification, and conflict reduction.  With FFP support, CARE also provides emergency food vouchers to assist 36,000 highly vulnerable, crisis-affected people in Mopti.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2019 $39.7 million 3,817 MT
Fiscal Year 2018 $45.4 million 8,427 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $39.9 million 11,255 MT

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


Country Specific Information

Related Resources



Last updated: March 31, 2020

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