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Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Program




Mali is a fragile, semiarid, landlocked, low-income country with a predominantly rural economy and a rapidly growing population. Agriculture is the largest sector in the economy but faces severe challenges from climate change and increasing human pressure. Food insecurity is pervasive: each year, since 2012, approximately 3.6 million people (18 percent of the population) are food insecure during the lean season. In 2021, over 6 million people are expected to be food insecure,  due to climate change and insecurity, which limited access to fields.

A decade of rapid economic growth has only modestly reduced poverty rates, and income inequality is widening. Mali’s poverty rate is estimated to have increased from 42.5 percent in 2019 to 44.4 percent in 2021, pushing an additional 375,000 people into extreme poverty due to the cumulative effect of income loss, decline in remittances, and increase in prices. Repeated shocks are expected to impact the already low human development outcome (Mali’s HCI is only 0.32, lower than the Sub-Saharan African average) and worsen the high income inequality.  

Malian households are highly exposed to both covariate and idiosyncratic shocks. Climate change is a significant threat to the country’s development and the nutrition and health of its inhabitants, which exacerbate existing food insecurity and often push vulnerable populations into extreme poverty. Mali is in an area projected to experience some of the most intense and pronounced changes in temperature and rainfall patterns.


SASPP Activities

Mali’s SASPP activities are anchored in the Emergency Social Safety Net (Jigiséméjiri) project, now closed. The objective of the project and its subsequent additional financings was to build an adaptive national safety net system and increase access to targeted cash transfers. The Jigisemejiri project has established the building blocks of an ASP system. The Jigisemejiri project has successfully provided regular safety net assistance to 96,900 households (including cash transfers, labor-intensive public works, and income-generation activities) and shock-response cash transfers to nearly 30,000 households.

Mali Jigiséméjiri Social Safety Nets Project

Project duration: FY13 - FY23


While the COVID-19 response was fully financed by the Government (not IDA or the SASPP), the response benefited from technical support by the World Bank. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of the already existing sociopolitical crisis have led to significant impacts on the poor and vulnerable. The World Bank provided support to the planning of the COVID-19 response and to the setting-up of mobile payments for the 400,000 beneficiaries of the Emergency Cash Transfers deployed in 2021 and 2022. Also, since early 2022 and until June 2023, AFD’s parallel co-financing (10 million Euros) to the Emergency Safety Net project was supporting cash transfers in the most climate-affected regions of Mali.

The World Bank team has also been providing support to the development of the Unified Social Registry (Registre Social Unifié, RSU). Informed by the analysis of the working group (including UNICEF, WFP, and WB), a presidential decree was adopted in May 2022, which institutionalizes the RSU. The RSU will be the gateway to any social intervention and will enhance the coordination between social protection and humanitarian actors.

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