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A landlocked country in West Africa, Mali is one of the five least-developed countries in the world. Over 90 percent of Mali’s population lives in the more fertile southern region of the country. The Niger River acts as important trade passage in the south.
Mali ranked among the bottom five countries on the 2009 Human Development Index.
Less than a quarter of boys and girls attend secondary school, and the adult literacy rate is only 23 percent.
Rising food prices over the years have hurt the economy and the population’s health.
About 30 percent of people are unemployed, and over 35 percent live below the poverty line.
The World Food Program estimates that about one-third of children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnourishment.
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Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2012.
Drilled wells to increase access to safe water and promoted personal hygiene and sanitation to reduce the spread of disease.
Trained peer educators so they could educate thousands of other students on the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS.
Educated mothers on the importance of improving child nutrition through appropriate infant feeding practices.
Improved schools for children by constructing new classrooms and latrines, and by updating primary school teachers on new, innovative teaching methods.
Taught community members and leaders how to develop community disaster preparedness plans.
Raised awareness among community leaders, school management committees, and women's groups on child rights and protection.
World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Mali to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision's child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 8,200 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Mali. Highlights include:
World Vision responded to drought in Mali in 1975, opened an office in 1982, and began sponsorship programs in 1988. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:
Geography and people
A landlocked country in West Africa, Mali is one of the five least developed countries in the world. Over 90 percent of Mali’s population lives in the more fertile southern region of the country. The Niger River acts as important trade passage in the south.
Natural resources include gold, phosphates, salt, limestone, gypsum, granite, and hydropower.
Several ethnic groups live in Mali. The largest group is the Bambara, who make up nearly 40 percent of the population. French is the country’s official language, but over 80 percent of Malians speak Bambara.
More than 80 percent of Malians work in agriculture, with the majority producing barely enough food to feed their own families. Rural families are large so they will have enough hands to farm. Many girls marry before the age of 18.
After several years of French rule and a brief unification with Senegal, Mali declared independence in June 1960. The army overthrew the government in a bloodless coup eight years later and started 23 years of military rule.
In 1991, Amadou Touré removed the dictator and led the peaceful transition to a multi-party democracy. Nomadic Tuareg rebels fought against the government in the early 1990s, accusing the administration of cultural marginalization.
The Malian government and Tauregs later signed a peace agreement that would start development and anti-poverty programs for the Tauregs. Mali has had several peaceful government elections since the start of the 21st century.