Operation: Opération: Mali



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
100% of facilitated voluntary return was carried out in safety and dignity
77%  of new born babies received birth certificates 
75% of local law and policy relating to internal displacement in line with international standards
41.3% of persons of concern between 18-59 years old had their own business or are self-employed for more than 12 months
550 refugee and host community households received multi-purpose cash grants
2019 planning figures
100% of voluntary return is carrie dout in safety and dignity
88% of the primary school-aged children enrolled in primary education

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 154,432
2017 84,081
2016 100,247


[["Refugees",26539],["Asylum-seekers",918],["IDPs",120298],["Returned refugees",6677]]
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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[69.58910338,67.860516734,49.1719132,41.007531648,21.59999173,17.43224968],"expenditure":[20.65237349,14.86664134,13.37227655,13.34678074,13.35314797,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[20.45192283,48.924988312,27.08867361,13.625051768,11.21245007,8.28224972],"p2":[null,0.12311877,1.06694838,0.956948,null,null],"p3":[null,10.754399482,17.77571883,25.28018688,9.26252293,8.04999949],"p4":[49.13718055,8.05801017,3.24057238,1.145345,1.12501873,1.10000047]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[11.38623867,9.3844582,7.040851,5.73030234,7.10949783,null],"p2":[null,0.10197148,0.57564893,0.75438523,null,null],"p3":[null,3.67058966,4.66259468,6.39414574,5.46708624,null],"p4":[9.26613482,1.709622,1.09318194,0.46794743,0.7765639,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational context

Tensions continued in the north of Mali between pro-Government armed groups and rebels, leading to sporadic clashes, human rights abuses and the intensification of intercommunal tensions – in spite of the peace and reconciliation agreement signed in 2015. In August 2018, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was re-elected by a 67% majority. Post-election protests by opposition took place in the country, but they did not affect UNHCR’s activities significantly. Political dialogue carried on between the Government and groups concerned, with increased reconciliation meetings aiming to re-establish State authority in the north and centre of the country, alongside security reform. 

The volatile security environment in northern and central Mali, including along the border with Burkina Faso, continued to destabilize local communities, jeopardizing the protection of civilians and preventing displaced people from returning to their homes.

Population trends

The population of concern in Mali increased from some 55,800 at the beginning of the year, to some 151,900 at the end of the year. The increase is largely due to the growth in the number of IDPs in Mali.

At year end, there were some 26,500 recognized refugees originating from Mauritania (58%), Burkina Faso (32 %), Niger (4%), the Central African Republic (3%), Côte d’Ivoire (2%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some 60% are protracted refugees, especially those who fled Mauritania in 1989 and Côte d’Ivoire in and after 2002. The new refugee arrivals in 2018 included some 8,460 people from Burkina Faso and approximately 1,020 people from Niger.

By the end of 2018, the Government had registered over 4,100 Malian returnees.  Moreover, some 82,100 people were displaced internally in 2018, bringing the total number of IDPs to 120,300. No returns of IDPs were recorded.

More than 145,000 Malian refugees continue to reside in countries across the region, namely, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. 

Key achievements

  • The Government of Mali adopted and domesticated the Kampala Convention on IDPs into its national asylum legal framework.
  • 1,161 Mauritanian refugees were naturalized. They received Malian nationality in the framework of local integration.

Unmet needs

Due to lack of resources:
  • While only 30% of refugee children in urban settings are enrolled in secondary school, access to university education is extremely limited. 
  • Special needs education and additional language classes are not available.
  • The socio-economic assistance is insufficient in terms of protecting against risk of SGBV, including survival sex and sexual exploitation, especially for young women and single women heads of household.
  • 22 water points and 2,800 shelters are still needed for returning refugees in return areas.
  • 1,161 Mauritanians who were naturalized are still waiting for the accompanying socio-economic measures.

Working environment

The implementation of Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation from the Algiers process, completed in June 2015, continues to slowly advance, but has not yet produced the stability and security needed to ensure genuine peace in northern Mali. The volatile security situation resulting from ongoing violence amongst armed groups, intercommunity tensions and escalating threat of terrorism, particularly along the transboundary zones with Burkina Faso and Niger, continue to hinder humanitarian access in the north, necessitating specific risk reduction measures for UNHCR staff on mission to specific areas. The ongoing insecurity coupled with limited economic opportunities and the lack of access to basic services in parts of the north and centre continues to prevent the voluntary returns of high numbers of Malian refugees and IDPs.
Despite the volatile security situation, Mali continues to welcome refugees and asylum-seekers. It remains in favour of supporting the naturalization and integration of protracted refugees.
UNHCR works with the Government of Mali and its partners in the Humanitarian Country Team, the UN Country Team, development banks, the technical and financial partners to support a more favourable environment for the protection of refugees, refugee returnees, IDPs and IDP returnees. UNHCR plays a key role in the strategy and planning of humanitarian responses as lead of the Protection and the Shelter/NFI clusters.

Key priorities

UNHCR’s priorities focus on durable solutions. The legal integration of protracted refugees will be supported through the advocacy and advancement of naturalization and accompanied with local integration assistance, while those who wish to voluntary return will receive assistance to facilitate their secure and dignified return. Urban refugees and asylum-seekers will be assisted through cash-based interventions, documentation, health, education and SGBV prevention.
UNHCR will work with partners to improve conditions in priority zones of return, and ensure the sustainable and voluntary return of Malian refugees and IDPs through cash-based assistance, protection monitoring, SGBV prevention and response, documentation and social cohesion activities. It will continue to work with the government in the revision of its laws in order to prevent and reduce statelessness in Mali.
Funding constraints will negatively impact the already limited assistance to the populations of concern, particularly Malian returnees who remain in a volatile protection environment.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

    private donors

  • Spain
  • Oman

    private donors

  • United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • Kuwait

    private donors

  • Saudi Arabia

    private donors