Highlighted results

115,515 additional women and girls using modern contraceptives in the regions Ségou, Mopti, Tombouctou, Gao, Bamako, Koulikoro, Sikasso and Kayes.

178,942 women and 92,387 men received legal assistance (information, advice and representation) from 725 community paralegals. The paralegals work in 28 legal clinics in 302 municipalities in the regions Ségou, Mopti, Tombouctou and Gao.

A stronger focus on youth leadership resulted in 29,257 young people (60% male and 40% female) assuming a leadership role. They promote the reproductive health and sexual rights of young people in the regions Ségou, Mopti, Tombouctou and Gao

7,367 tons of onions/shallots were produced in the Mopti and Ségou regions. 315 tons of fresh fish were sold and another 396 tons of fish were processed into dry and smoked fish.

Additional sources


Overview of projects in Mali


The Sahel is a focus region for the Dutch government. The socio-economic starting point in Mali is challenging. Due to rising levels of violent incidents, state officials and public services are absent from many rural parts of Mali, especially in the North and Centre. The absence of state institutions, combined with criminality and impunity, has reduced citizens’ trust in the state. In this context, people have come to rely on non-state actors for a minimal level of services. Jihadist groups have gained influence, especially on youths who lack economic prospects. Climate change and demographic trends worsen these risks.

Unlocking the region’s youth potential is a priority. A large labour-productive population with improved access to skills, justice, food security, employment and (sexual) health services offers great development potential in the long run. The Netherlands assists the Malian government in providing basic services and security for its people.

Even though the situation deteriorated in the intervention areas of Ségou, Mopti, Tombouctou and Gao, Dutch development programmes registered tangible results for the Malian people. Due to the long-standing presence of Dutch implementing partners in the field and their good relations with the population, activities largely continued and new ones were developed.

With many international actors present in the Sahel, the Netherlands works on better co-ordination and co-operation with the international community.

Results 2019

Dutch programmes in Mali focus on improving sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and developing integrated water resources management with attention for food security. They also work on private sector development and strengthening security and rule of law, including local governance.

More specifically, Dutch efforts:

• Strengthened the collaboration between Dutch organisations active in SRHR and other donors working in the same field. More girls and women were informed about their sexual and reproductive health and rights. They also gained greater access to family planning services.

• Encouraged local authorities in Segou, Mopti, Tombouctou and Gao to cater for the needs of their people. Youth groups ensure that local authorities stick to their commitments and share information on how public funds are used. More transparent local authorities have contributed to local stability.

• Maintained the resilience of a large number of farmers in the Mopti Inner Delta Region, close to the border with Burkina Faso. This is an area in which the security situation is deteriorating.

Results by theme

SRHR Food security Security and rule of Law Water

Featured project Mali

Agricultural Value Chains [onion & fish] for the Food Security Reinforcement Programme (PRCA-SA)

The private sector is very important for the sustainable development of the agricultural sector. This programme aims to strengthen agricultural value chains of onions, fish and potatoes.

Small enterprises and family farms were supported in improving their seed and storage management. They were also supported on food processing and access to finance. The programme helps to improve the quality of food in Mali and involves more women in the process. Because family incomes have improved, families are more resilient in an increasingly difficult environment. The Netherlands also assisted in making water use in Malian agriculture more efficient and effective, especially in relation to onion production and fish farming.

The first phase of the programme ended in 2019. In its second phase, the programme also includes potatoes.


The results in context

Mali’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) outcomes are deeply concerning. The maternal mortality rate in Mali remains among the worst in the region with 325 deaths per 100,000 live births. The number of women aged 15-49 that use modern contraceptive methods is very low: 16% in 2018. In Mali, 36% of female adolescents (aged 15-19) have already given birth. This is the highest rate in the world .

Despite the increasingly insecure context and growing conservative influences, work on the promotion of reproductive health and rights for women and girls has been successful.

The Netherlands helped to raise awareness of SRHR and improve the quality of and access to SRHR services and commodities. The Netherlands seeks to actively engage young people in its programmes in this area, with the aim to reduce the number of births among young women and to improve the health and rights of young people. Young people are taking the lead. They play an important role in deciding which type of information is spread, as well as how the information reaches their peers.

The programmes also address gender-based violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation. The Netherlands works with youth organisations, religious and traditional leaders and local authorities on banning these practices. Several methods, such as theatre, are used to reach out to (young) women. In many Malian communities, demand for and use of contraceptives increased. The Netherlands also invests in the quality of SRHR services, so that women are satisfied, return and bring their peers.

Ground gained can also be lost, however. In 2018, the Netherlands, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and a national NGO, started a comprehensive sexual education programme. Religious leaders interpreted comprehensive sexual education as promoting LGBTI. Following protests caused by the misinterpretation, the president of Mali ended the programme. This illustrates the sensitivity of these topics, the need for caution in our co-operation and the importance of strengthening the dialogue with religious leaders. A new programme with Save the Children starts this year. It will focus on sexual education at schools in the context of menstrual hygiene.

Food security

The results in context

The programmes on Food and Nutrition Security are concentrated in the centre of the country, where the security situation is deteriorating most rapidly. The implementing organisations had to develop their own strategies to adapt to the difficult context. The security situation caused delays in the Support Programme for Food Security and Resilience of Populations to Climate and Social Shocks (PASARC II) becoming operational.

Good results were however achieved in the Mopti and Segou regions, through the Development Programme of the Inner Niger Delta (PADIN II) and the Programme to Improve Agricultural Value Chains for Food Security (PRCA-SA). More than 51,000 households improved their production capacity through improved irrigation and the construction of dykes, fish ponds and milk collection centres. In this way, the households improved their income and became more resilient to climate change and harvest season shocks. Furthermore, 1,220 hectares of land were improved with the introduction of agro-ecological methods, such as erosion control and planting animal fodder. The farmers also started to plant crops that can resist the impact of climate change.

An important result of PADIN II was the conclusion of a master plan by a collective of 29 communities for the economic, social and environmental development of their area. The Netherlands will support the communities with the implementation of the plan in the years to come.

The coming year will be a pivotal one for the Food and Nutrition Security programmes with the start of three new programmes. Increasing instability remains a potential risk that the embassy and the implementing organisations will have to manage.

Security and rule of Law

The results in context

Mali is suffering from a lack of functioning, accountable and accessible state institutions. Coupled with perceived high levels of corruption, this has eroded citizens’ confidence in the state, especially the younger generation’s. The deteriorating security situation has made it even more difficult for women, men and children to access justice. Institutions, including courts, have not yet returned to all of Northern Mali.

Overall, the criminal justice system is facing capacity issues to handle cases. That includes crimes committed during the crisis. The number of people in prison awaiting trial is high: 89% in December 2019 (Source: Ministry of Justice). Despite the young population, youths are underrepresented in governance processes. To address the multiple rule of law challenges Mali is facing, the Netherlands works with the Ministry of Justice, civil society, the United Nations and with other bilateral partners.

The Netherlands supports police, prosecutors and judges in speeding up the handling of criminal cases. At the same time, we offer legal assistance to citizens through community-based legal clinics. In total, more than 270,000 community members (66% women) in six regions were informed of their rights, received legal advice and were referred to services.

In addition, the Security and Rule of Law programme helps to improve detention conditions and conditions in 26 prisons were improved. Social reintegration activities were initiated to help people restart their lives. The Netherlands also supports the investigation of serious human rights violations committed in the period between 2012 and 2018. In 2019, a partnership with The Central Office against Illegal Enrichment (OCLEI) resulted in the launch of a hotline, enabling the public to anonymously report suspicions of corruption.

Finally, the Netherlands supports young leaders in 180 communities in calling for transparency and accountability in the public management of funds and service delivery. In this way, a new generation of socially and politically engaged people is being built. Youths and local government now discuss the management of public services and the local budget. Community participation in these debates has increased.


The results in context

Mali is largely dependent on the River Niger for its water resources. Because of economic activities and population growth, more people need water but the availability of water resources has become more variable due to climate change.

The Netherlands supports the government of Mali in managing the available water in a sustainable way and in preventing conflicts over scarce resources. With Dutch support, a National Policy document ‘Integrated Water Resources Management’ was developed by the Malian government. It also developed a National Programme to carry out the policy. One result is that the National Water Council was revived to take decisions at a high level. The council decided to prohibit the cultivation of rice in the dry season. This is a very important decision because rice cultivation requires a lot of water. Water that is also needed for other purposes. In addition, the government improved the collection of information on water quality. It now makes decisions based on better information. The NGO Wetlands developed a tool to forecast droughts and flooding of the Niger. The tool also helps the government to make better decisions.

At a local level, the reactivation of the so-called Local Water Committees has started. These committees bring various communities together to make decisions on water management. For example, they have forbidden fishing by dredging as it destroys the river bed and leaves no fish for small-scale fishermen. Another example is preventing pollution caused by gold diggers. The committees are also important for preventing conflicts about access to the river by different groups that use the water, such as fishermen, herders and farmers.

Finally, two river basin organisations were supported. These organisations bring together the governments of the Niger River and the Sourou River, as these rivers cross different countries. With Dutch support, the countries have improved their mutual planning process. For example, they discuss how much water will be released by a dam. Their work is important as it increases transparency on the use of the river water.

Background and future Mali


Dutch sexual and reproductive health rights programmes continued to be successful, despite increasing pressure from religious leaders. The Netherlands has put youth leaders in the driving seat and has rooted programs at the community level. In this way, we have made sure that advocacy is based on local needs and demands.

The results for security and rule of law are on schedule. The transparency and accountability of municipal governments improved slightly. Young people’s trust in local authorities increased in the target areas. This is important for stability and prevents radicalisation. More people benefited from legal assistance in 2019 but the deteriorating security situation makes it increasingly difficult for paralegals to reach beneficiaries.

In the area of food security, the productivity and resilience of family farms improved. Good results were achieved with onion production and fish farming. The increase in production improved incomes for a large number of families (34,279 families).

The programme on Integrated Water Management (GIRE) achieved results at an operational level. Local water committees were activated. They will bring communities together to make decisions on water management.

Glimpse into the future

As was already the case for Tombouctou and Gao, programmes in the Ségou and Mopti regions are increasingly affected by insecurity and instability. Long-standing local partners that enjoy relations of mutual trust with the local population are still able to continue operating under these difficult conditions. The reality, however, is that their staff is increasingly under stress. Stronger co-operation with other donors and NGOs is necessary. If the situation continues to deteriorate, in 2020 we may see an increased need for humanitarian aid.

The Netherlands needs to adapt the way it implements programmes and monitors progress. Opportunities offered by smartphones and modern data analysis can be used but in the present security circumstances, expectations should not be too high.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is most likely severe. The extent to which this affects our current and future projects is still unknown.

Additional sources

You can find how the budget was allocated in 2019 and which projects were funded on the budget website.

  1. Visit the website
    Programme budget Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  2. Select financial year 2019
Countries page on Dutch government site

Page on current policy towards Mali (English)

Countries page on Dutch government site

Page on current policy towards Mali (French)

Facebook page

Follow the Embassy of The Netherlands in Mali

Embassy website

Visit the Embassy of The Netherlands in Mali (French)

Results SRHR

Download PDF with results for SRHR in Mali

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Mali

Results Security and rule of Law

Download PDF with results for Security and rule of Law in Mali

Results Water

Download PDF with results for Water in Mali

Expenditure Embassy by channel


Expenditure Embassy by theme


The budget in this figure is for the year 2019 and does not completely correspond with the results on this page, which have been collected between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019. More information on this can be found on the 'About the results report' page.