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CRS in Mali: An Overview of Our Work

CRS in Mali: An Overview of Our Work   

This fact sheet describes CRS' work in Mali. Our current programming in Mali includes the following areas:

  • Food security, agroenterprise and value chains
  • Education
  • Tuberculosis
  • Emergency response and resilience

Download the PDF (336 KB)

Browse other country overviews

Our history in Mali

Catholic Relief Services began working in Mali in 1999. In November 2011, our efforts became emergency focused with the arrival of displaced persons from the north of the country. Mali is one of the youngest and poorest nations in the world, with more than half the population living on a dollar a day and with an average age of 16. Only one in four Malian adults can read and write, almost half the population does not have access to safe water, and a reported 75% of deaths are caused by communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal complications, and poor nutrition. Mali also faces recurrent challenges, including droughts, floods and violent conflict.

What we do

CRS employs an integrated approach to help poor and vulnerable people lead full and productive lives. We implement programs in partnership with a variety of stakeholders, including the UN, government agencies, local NGOs, international NGOs and local Caritas partners.

Our current work in Mali focuses on the following areas:

  • Food security, agroenterprise and value chains
  • Education
  • Tuberculosis
  • Emergency response and resilience

Current programs

We have four international staff and 91 national staff. Our head office is in Bamako, and we have a sub-office in San.

Food security, agroenterprise and value chains

We are improving food security, supporting agroenterprise and strengthening value chains in Mali.

CRS is reducing the food insecurity of 81,000 people in rural areas of Mali thanks to a US$25 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development/Food for Peace for the years 2008–2013. To implement the program, we are leading a consortium that includes Save the Children and Helen Keller International.

CRS is supporting agroenterprise and strengthening value chains in Mali through the following programs:

  • We are implementing agroenterprise activities, analyzing value chains and supporting savings groups in the Kayes, Koulikoro and Sikasso regions. The program provides basic training and work experience to 12,000 out-of-school youths. This is a US$1 million USAID subcontract from the Education Development Center for the years 2010–2015. The project works with the Ministry of Employment and Professional Training, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education.
  • We are supporting agroenterprise groups in 20 villages and creating 120 savings groups to increase sesame production, improve the quality of the crops and increase farmers’ revenue. This is a US$530,000 extension that uses CRS private funds and the Food Resource Bank for the years 2009– 2013. Our partner is Caritas San.
  • We are connecting farmers to markets and working with savings groups to improve incomes. The program targets farmers in Bankass and 275 savings groups whose members are female to improve cowpea and millet surpluses for sale to the World Food Program’s school feeding programs. This is a US$132,000 grant from the World Food Program for the years 2009–2012. We have applied for an additional US$49,500.


We are promoting students’ health and well-being so they can learn more in school. The program provides school meals, take-home rations for girls and nomadic children, nutritional supplements and health training. It also supports capacity strengthening and savings groups. The program targets 82,000 people in 310 schools in the Koulikoro and Mopti regions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding this US$24 million project for the years 2011–2015. Our partners include Caritas Bamako, Caritas Mopti, Amprode Sahel and Guamina.


We are reducing tuberculosis-related morbidity and mortality through better prevention, treatment and partnerships. The project targets more than 38,000 people across Mali’s eight regions and Bamako. The objectives are to strengthen the quality of directly observed treatment, reinforce the fight against TB–HIV coinfections, improve detection and treatment for children and engage the private sector and communities.

The Global Fund is providing US$9.4 million to support the program during the years 2013–2015.

Emergency response and resilience

We are responding to Mali’s food crisis. CRS is strengthening the country’s recovery and resilience through two programs:

  • We are training community members on better agricultural, ecological and nutrition practices. We are also supporting early warning groups and providing six months of cash-for-work assistance. The program targets more than 4,500 households in Nara Circle. This is a US$1.8 million grant from USAID. Our partner is CSPEEDA
  • We are helping people produce food better and access it easier. The program’s activities include distributing agricultural resources, rehabilitating water supplies and providing training on agriculture and natural resource management. The program targets 2,500 households in the Koulikoro region. This is a US$95,000 grant from the Food and Agricultural Organization. Our partner is CSPEEDA.

CRS is also providing assistance for Mali’s internally displaced people. Our program targets more than 6,200 people. It provides US$16 per person each month. These cash transfers are better than monthly food rations because cash transfers support the local economy and allow people to purchase the goods they need. Trócaire, Irish Aid, Electric Aid and World Vision are providing more than US$720,000 for the program.

More information

For more information on our work in Mali, contact our office at:

Address: Badalabougou Est, Rue 22 Porte 49, Bamako, Mali
Country profile: Mali

Publication details

Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (April 2013)
Fact sheet: 2 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 8.27 x 11.69 inches

Posted on April 11, 2013

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