Key facts:

Hazards covered by anticipation    

Drought | Flood

People reached by anticipation

Start Network 2016: 54,842

Anticipation partners in country    

Mali Red Cross | FAO | IFRC | Netherlands Red Cross | | Danish Red Cross

Inform Risk Index    

Hazard and Exposure: 5.9

Vulnerability: 6.4

Lack of Coping Capacity: 6.6

Total: 6.3 (high risk)

Rank: 18


Photo by IFRC

Country Profile

Mali, the eight largest country by land area in the world, is a low-income, landlocked country with a hot, dessert climate and high variability between dry and wet periods. It is regularly confronted with disasters, amongst which the most prominent are floods, droughts, epidemics and epizootics, as well as strong winds and locust invasions. Since 2012, conflict has contributed to further instability. Accounting for 45% of the country’s GDP and 80% of overall employment, agriculture and livestock are the most important sectors for people’s livelihood but also most impacted these hazards. Natural hazards and conflict are the main drivers for humanitarian crises in Mali. These shocks have particularly adverse effects on people’s food security and nutrition. Floods and droughts are considered the primary hazards in Mali. Occurring on an annual basis with considerable impact, both pose the most significant risk in Mali, in particular in the southern region. As Mali is among the countries most at risk of drought worldwide, droughts and extreme heat affected population the most people and add further pressure on the unevenly distributed water resources. Droughts often have long-lasting impacts and may lead to severe food insecurity, loss of livestock, and water scarcity.

Flooding occurs mostly along the Niger and Senegal Rivers and their tributaries, expectedly between September and November. Both riverine and urban floods are noted to cause the highest number of deaths in Mali and considerable damage to houses and transport, health, and education infrastructure. For example, in 2018 flooding affected 137,000 people, leading to human fatalities as well as loss of livestock and crops and destroyed houses and wells.

Natural hazards and their impact are expected to increase because of climate change, resulting in higher frequency of droughts, floods, strong winds, bush fires, and increased variability in seasonal rainfall patterns leading to higher uncertainty for agricultural systems.


Forecast-based Financing in Mali

Since 2017 Mali Red Cross has worked with support from Belgium RC, Netherlands RC, Danish RC, 510, IFRC, and the Climate Centre to develop an EAP for floods. A second hazard is now being identified and an EAP will eventually be developed.

In 2016 Mali START Network provided funds for Catholic Relief Services and Action Against Hunger to create or strengthen community early warning systems and reduce impacts in anticipation of flooding along the Niger river (alert 117).