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  • Mali, a vast Sahelian country, has a low-income economy that is undiversified and vulnerable to commodity price fluctuations. Its rapid population growth (a fertility rate of 5.88 children per woman in 2018 and climate change pose a threat to agriculture and food security.

    The extreme poverty rate, which stood at 47.2% between 2011 and 2015 owing to the security crisis, fell to 42.3% in 2019 as a result of record levels of agricultural production since 2014. The 2020 health, security, social, and political crises have led to a 5% increase in poverty. Some 90% of the country's poverty is concentrated in the densely populated rural areas of the south.

    Political Situation

    Mali has been experiencing instability and conflict since the 2012 military coup and the occupation of the north by armed groups. The operations of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) date back to July 2014.

    Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who became president in 2013 and was reelected in 2018, was deposed by a military coup on August 18, 2020, after several weeks of demonstrations. 

    Mediation efforts led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) paved the way for an 18-month transition period, with the appointment of a civilian President and Prime Minister in September 2020. A transition government and National Transition Council, serving as the National Assembly, were installed pending the organization of democratic elections.

    Peace negotiations between the government and two rebel groups, the “Platform” and the “Coordination,” were concluded with the signing of an agreement in June 2015 that provided for greater decentralization, with the north becoming a special development zone. Problems have arisen with the implementation of this agreement.

    Security, which is essential for economic recovery and poverty reduction, remains fragile, with armed groups continuing their attacks on UN peacekeepers, the Malian army, and civilians primarily in the northern and central regions of the country.

    Economic Situation

    The pandemic and sociopolitical crisis resulting from the coup have tipped Mali into an economic recession. Real GDP is estimated to have contracted by 2% in 2020, reflecting the decline in global demand, supply challenges, and domestic restrictions. This situation is compounded by the decline in cotton production and the poor performance of the agricultural sector, factors that are exacerbating poverty, particularly in rural areas.

    As an oil importing country, Mali benefited from lower crude prices while higher gold prices in 2020 boosted export revenue. This improvement in the terms of trade, combined with the drop in demand for imports, led to a reduction in the current account deficit in 2020, despite the decline in remittances, financial flows, and other foreign investment.

    The Malian authorities adopted a CFAF 214 billion plan to address the COVID-19 socioeconomic crisis, which resulted in higher budget expenditure. The drop in fiscal revenue led to a government deficit of 5.5% of GDP in 2020.

    The fiscal space for countercyclical policies has been reduced while expenditure needs related to domestic security, public health services, and education remain.  In the short term, the authorities will have to step up tax administration reforms so as to improve performance in the areas of collection and public expenditure execution.

    Last Updated: Apr 28, 2021

  • The work conducted by the World Bank Group in Mali is determined by a partnership framework designed to respond to the country's challenges following the 2012 and 2020 crises.

    The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s institution that provides assistance to the poorest nations in the world, is currently financing 20 national projects and 9 regional projects in Mali totaling $1.5 billion (grants and loans included). These projects support the development of many areas such as:

    • Energy
    • Reconstruction and economic recovery
    • Water and sanitation
    • The empowerment of women
    • The demographic dividend
    • Education
    • Health

    International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is implementing projects that are central to Mali's development. In partnership with the World Bank and the World Bank Group Sahel Regional Initiative, it is facilitating reforms that foster private sector development and is providing financing and technical assistance to attract investors and mitigate the risks associated with these projects.

    In Mali, the IFC team is working on mobilizing the private sector with the aim of supporting the country's economic recovery and enhancing its resilience. For the 2021-2025 period, this strategy includes the following priorities:

    • Helping with the COVID-19 response by providing assistance to the banking sector and microfinance institutions;
    • Restructuring and restoring the viability of the private sector so as to mitigate the impact of the crisis on real sector enterprises and financial institutions by focusing on energy sector investments and supporting reforms in the telecom and digital finance sector;
    • Supporting the recovery and rebuilding of the economy by promoting reforms to improve the business environment, with the aim of boosting investment in infrastructure, agriculture, and agribusiness and promoting financial inclusion.

    Working in partnership with the World Bank, IFC in Mali is also involved with technical assistance projects that seek to improve the operations of small and medium enterprises and the business climate.

    As of December 31, 2020, IFC commitments in Mali totaled $40 million and included investment in the finance, infrastructure, and agribusiness sectors.

    Last Updated: Apr 28, 2021

  • World Bank Group assistance led to achievement of the following results:

    Adaptation to climate change, livestock farming, and food security

    With $248 million in World Bank financing, provided through the International Development Association (IDA) and coordinated by the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the Regional Sahel Pastoralism Support Project (PRAPS) aims to protect pastoral systems by mitigating conflicts, improving resource management and animal health, facilitating access to markets, and diversifying the sources of income of pastoral households. Between 2015 and 2020, PRAPS helped establish and improve the management of more than 5 million hectares of pastureland, 181 water points, and 66 cattle markets, and delineate 1,414 km of transhumance corridors. It also supported the economic activity of 20,700 persons, 88% of whom were women.

    Safety Nets

    The “Jigisemejiri” (tree of hope) Emergency Safety Nets Project aims to reduce poverty and food insecurity. Between 2013 and January 2020:

    • 82,722 families received quarterly cash transfers in the Gao, Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso, Segou, Mopti, and Timbuktu regions and in the district of Bamako. The project introduced mobile payments in early 2021 in all its intervention areas. As a result, 6,000 households are receiving quarterly mobile cash transfers in the Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso, and Mopti regions;
    • 105,000 persons received nutritional supplements (70% were children under 5 and 30% were pregnant women);
    • 10,000 households were able to support themselves through income-generating activities (small businesses, processing of agricultural products, livestock farming, market gardening, etc.);
    • Project beneficiaries also have access to free health care through the national medical insurance scheme (RAMED) implemented by the National Health Insurance Agency (ANAM);
    • The Unified Social Registry identified 381,000 vulnerable households eligible for contributory and non-contributory programs; 
    • 60 highly labor-intensive community public works projects were carried out (construction of dikes and small dams; rehabilitation of community health centers and classrooms).

    Urban Drinking Water Supply Project

    In 2019, 65% of Bamako's residents did not have drinking water in their households, while those who did, experienced significant shortages. As part of a multi-donor program, the project to supply Bamako with drinking water from Kabala aims to provide safe drinking water to 95% of the population by 2025:

    • New production and storage facilities have already significantly reduced shortages for more than 600,000 persons, who now have uninterrupted service;
    • Launched in June 2019, the program to provide 110,000 social connections, 40,000 of which are funded by the World Bank, has already provided more than 628,000 persons with access to drinking water in their households, 202,000 of whom were covered by IDA financing, which will provide connections for close to 200,000 additional persons by end-2021.
    • The program will also supply drinking water to close to 400,000 persons through more than 1,200 standpipes, 25% of which will be funded by IDA. By 2022, the total number of program beneficiaries in Bamako will exceed 1.6 million.

    IDA financing is also aimed at improving the drinking water supply systems in Gao (Gao region), Bougouni and Sélingué (Sikasso region), Markala (Ségou region), Kita and Nioro du Sahel (Kayes region). It will provide an additional 356,000 persons with access to safe water.

    Last Updated: Apr 28, 2021

  • The World Bank Group works with Mali’s other technical and financial partners (bilateral and multilateral donors and the United Nations system on the ground). It also works closely with the private sector, civil society, municipalities, and universities.

    In July 2017, Germany, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, France, the European Union, and the United Nations Development Programme launched the Sahel Alliance with the aim of providing a coordinated and tailored response to the challenges faced by the G5 Sahel member countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger). Since that time, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom have joined the Alliance.

    Last Updated: Apr 28, 2021



Mali: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
Bureau de la Banque mondiale au Mali
B.P. 1864
Immeuble Waly Diawara
Avenue du Mali
Hamdallaye ACI 2000
Bamako, Mali
+223 20 70 22 00
For general information and inquiries
Habibatou Gologo
External Affairs Officer
+223 20 70 22 06
For project-related issues and complaints