MSF works across Mali to assist the most vulnerable people. We are responding to the growing crisis in the central region, providing healthcare to nomadic communities in the north and caring for cancer patients in Bamako, the capital.
We also support nutrition and paediatric services in the southern Koutiala district.
Mali: Understanding the humanitarian crisis
Headlines about Mali often focus on conflict and security concerns. But these stories obscure the reality for people living through a six-year long crisis.
With 130,000 refugees already in neighbouring countries, more than one million people inside Mali are now in urgent need of health assistance.
This short video animation explains why.
Our activities in 2021 in Mali
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.
On 3 January, near the village of Bounty, a French military airstrike hit a group, largely made up of civilians, killing several of them*, according to the UN and accounts from survivors treated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Douentza. While referring wounded to Sévaré hospital, the MSF ambulance carrying them was stopped by armed militiamen who assaulted the passengers; one of the injured died in the process. This shocking event exemplifies the extreme tension and violence in the region, which escalated throughout the rest of 2021, and the difficulties in providing impartial humanitarian aid.
In addition to war-wounded care, our teams provided a range of medical services, including basic and women’s healthcare, paediatric care, and emergency surgery in Ansongo, Douentza, Tenenkou, Koro, Kidal, Niafounke and Niono.
One of our priorities has been to make care more accessible by expanding community-based activities and mobile clinics, in addition to supporting health centres and hospitals. We responded to the urgent needs of people forced from their homes with medical consultations, providing water and sanitation needs and other essential items, but also mental health support. For most patients with malaria and other infections, the anxiety linked to their living conditions has a significant impact on their mental health.
Insecurity has increased further south, in parts of Sikasso region, including Koutiala district, where we run a nutrition programme, which admits large numbers of children every year. In the capital, Bamako, we continued to provide or facilitate access to screening, diagnosis and treatment for breast and cervical cancer. Our teams also worked with the Ministry of Health to set up a breast cancer awareness campaign during Pink October, aimed at encouraging as many women as possible to get screened. In addition, we supported COVID-19-related activities, including inpatient care, contact tracing, home-based follow-up and health promotion, at two hospitals in Bamako.
*UN News, UN investigation concludes French military airstrike killed Mali civilians, https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/03/1088722