Mali is the third largest producer of gold in Africa and yet one in five Malians still live in extreme poverty. More than 12 months of conflict, insecurity and human rights violations have further weakened communities. The north of the country is now facing its 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 action to meet these massive humanitarian and development needs, and 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 at least the next 15 years. Aid can 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.