Mali is the third largest producer of gold in Africa and yet one in five Malians still live in extreme poverty. Mali’s population suffers from chronic vulnerability and has faced three food crises in the last seven years. More than 12 months of conflict, insecurity and human rights violations have further weakened communities in the north. They are now facing their second food crisis in less than two years, with experts predicting an emergency situation in the coming months if nothing is done.
This Oxfam briefing calls for a new development contract to be agreed between citizens and the Malian authorities so that the latter can be held accountable for the policies they implement. Development must be informed by the needs and interests of ordinary people, who need to be much more involved in decisions that will determine their future.
Donors have an important role to play, given the magnitude of aid they provide, starting with a commitment to continue providing aid for the next 15 years. Aid can also contribute to improving governance and transparency in Mali. Donors should evaluate the impact of their aid to Mali over the past two decades and set an example with transparent aid that does not fuel conflict but rather helps to build lasting peace.
The Donor Conference in Brussels on 15 May 2013 is an opportunity to set in motion a new development contract for Mali.