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Re-building lives for those displaced by conflict in Mali

Fanta Poudiougou & her 3 year old child Saouda, left their home in Gao. Photo: Trocaire

When Fanta and her family arrived in Bamako they found themselves in a very vulnerable position

When rebels occupied northern Mali in November 2012, Fanta Poudiougou and her family left their belongings and livelihoods behind at their home in Gao and fled for the safety of Mali’s Capital, Bamako.

When Fanta and her family arrived in Bamako without her husband, who decided to stay behind, they found themselves in a very vulnerable position; no home, just enough food to tide them over and the few possessions they had been able to bring.  But Fanta and her family were provided with immediate cash assistance, with support from Trócaire through funding provided by Irish Aid.  This  meant that Fanta and her family  were able to rent a place to stay and  buy food.  She was even able to start a small peanut processing plant and is now selling peanut butter, earning a small income to provide for her family.

The family desperately want to return to Gao one day to be reunited with the rest of their family but the situation is still unstable. While the Malian and French troops have been successful in retaking parts of North Mali, fighting is persisting in some areas, particularly Gao.

“This intervention has allowed us to pay for a place to stay and to begin selling peanut butter as an income-generating activity,” said Fanta.

In the meantime Fanta and her family have some security, which was made possible through the programme operated by Catholic Relief Services with support from Trócaire and funding from Irish Aid. The programme provides cash to vulnerable people who have become internally displaced and are essentially refugees within their own country.  Each family receives about $16 per month per family member and this is enough to afford nutritious food. 

This approach enables displaced families to prioritise the way they spend their money to suit their needs, strengthening their sense of ownership, control and dignity.

Irish Aid is supporting Trócaire and Catholic Relief Services in Mali to provide 6-months’ worth of critical support to 4,000 of the most vulnerable displaced persons in Bamako, like Fanta and her family.