A multisectoral approach is needed to build resilience in Mali, which is highly vulnerable to climate change.
Mali faces a variety of recurring shocks resulting from poverty, conflict, and climate variability and change. Decreasing rainfall and increasing temperature exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, especially in conflict-affected areas in the north and central regions. Increasing and protracted conflict combined with contested governance makes these regions particularly vulnerable to food insecurity.
Complex Risk Environment
Mali is a landlocked country deeply dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Increasing climate variability, particularly droughts, flooding, and crop pests continue to threaten food security and livelihoods. In recent years, persistent insecurity and increasing intercommunal conflict in the north and central regions have contributed to acute food insecurity and constrained humanitarian access. Escalations in violence have increased internal displacement, disrupted markets, and challenged populations’ ability to meet basic needs.
The government of Mali has actively engaged in the regional Global Alliance for Resilience process and, through that, has articulated national level resilience priorities. International donors implement multisectoral programs that aim to address the underlying causes of vulnerability as well as activities that specifically equip households to mitigate the effects of climate change. Improving economic opportunities, human capital, nutrition, agricultural practices, WASH services, access to financial services, and access to accurate, timely climate data help build household resilience to shocks.
The Government of Mali’s National Resilience Priorities/Priorités Résilience Pays (NRP/PRP-AGIR), which retraces the gaps and weaknesses in the existing policies, strategies, and programs to meet the specific needs of the most vulnerable populations and to strengthen their resilience to food and nutrition insecurity, is an important opportunity and framework for building and measuring resilience. The NRP/PRP-AGIR priorities are articulated around four pillars: (i) restore, enhance, and secure livelihoods and improve social protection of communities and vulnerable households; (ii) enhance the nutrition of vulnerable households; (iii) strengthen sustainable agricultural and food productivity, incomes of the most vulnerable and their access to food; (iv) strengthen food security governance and nutrition.
Opportunities for Strengthening Resilience
Studies in Mali show that diversifying into non climate-sensitive livelihoods and receiving remittances are important to reducing poverty, improving diet diversity, and promoting a higher rate of recovery, ultimately increasing resilience. Asset ownership, access to formal safety nets, exposure to information, and education of adult household members also help strengthen resilience. However, access to information and financial services is fairly low, and addressing these gaps represents an opportunity to have an important impact on household resilience. Increasing asset ownership, stronger formal and informal safety nets, reducing inter-community conflict, disaster risk reduction, increasing access to basic social services, and reinforcing adaptive capacities would also contribute to building resilience.