Federal Administration admin.ch
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
SDC – on location worldwide

Visit Swiss Cooperation Office websites.

Crise au Mali

Reportage de la télévision suisse alémanique, 24.1.2013 (de)

  • Crise au Mali: Factsheet
    État au 1er septembre 2013
    Download (PDF, 550 KB) [fr]  
Specific projects
Stratégie de coopération

Definition of the common perspectives for 2012-2015 (article, 09.02.2012)

  • Stratégie de coopération de la Suisse au Mali 2012-2015
    Download (PDF, 1652 KB) [fr]  


Website of the Cooperation Office (SDC) Mali: www.cooperation-suisse.admin.ch/mali/


The Mali conflict, which began in March 2012 with a coup d'état, has revealed just how fragile the country really is. Adapting to this new context, the SDC is nonetheless continuing its support for development as a stabilising factor. Among the priority objectives are improved food security, education, vocational training and local public management. Swiss Humanitarian Aid has been actively supporting internally displaced persons and refugees in host countries.

The security situation in the north of Mali has become very tense following the insurrections of 2012. The SDC has therefore suspended its efforts in the Mopti and Timbuktu regions, focusing instead on the south and notably the region of Sikasso. From this base, assistance continues to be provided to the people in the form of support for local structures.

Against this background, Switzerland’s approach to development cooperation, based on the management of conflict-sensitive projects, has proved to be pertinent, and has enabled the SDC to continue operations in Mali at a time when other international actors have had to pull out.

The presidential election on 11 August 2013 marked a return to constitutional order in Mali. Switzerland is supporting the re-establishment of state authority at both national and local levels.

Swiss International Cooperation 2011
mill. CHF
mill. CHF
mill. CHF
Bilateral development cooperation 18.08 16.50 20.25
Humanitarian aid 1.13 3.87 1.55
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Economic Cooperation and Development 0.60
Total SDC/SECO 19.21 20.37 22.40
Other Federal Offices
FDFA Human Security Division and Directorate of International Law 0.76 0.39 1.96
Other FDFA Divisions (ASAF, AIO, aso) 0.10
Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) 0.12 0.21
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) 0.01
Total other Federal Offices 0.88 0.49 2.18
Cantons and municipalities 1.08 1.05 ..
Total 21.17 21.91 24.58
SDC figures excluding program contributions to Swiss NGOs
.. = figures not available | – = nil or amount < 5'000 CHF

Rural development
Improved production thanks to new infrastructure
More than two thirds of the population of Mali lives in rural areas, generating about one third of GDP. In this context the SDC supports the building of infrastructure designed to improve agricultural productivity and income:

The aim of such projects is to make the economies of rural communities more dynamic. A special effort is being made in this context to improve access for women to ownership of rural property. Furthermore support for budgets in different sectors is intended to facilitate the transfer of financial resources to decentralised authorities and local communities.

Basic education and vocational training
Efforts tailored to meet social challenges
Access to basic education is extremely limited in Mali. It is estimated that a million children aged between 7 and 12 do not receive basic education, while half of those registered in primary schools leave early. The SDC is trying to improve the quality of teaching and to involve the education institutions and other local actors is the choice of curricula.

Another hindrance to development is the low level of qualifications among the workforce. To combat this problem the SDC is helping to introduce training adapted to the specific needs of the labour market, enabling young people of both sexes to find jobs that serve the community.

Rule of law, democracy and governance
Ensuring a permanent return to democracy
Other key SDC objectives in Mali are to increase the participation of citizens and different social groups while making officials answerable to those who elect them. The SDC therefore supports programmes on citizenship to enable the people to have a say in public affairs.

Improving the management of public affairs calls for the adoption of concrete measures both at the institutional level and in civil society. In this way the SDC intends to help strengthen the capacities of local elected officials in matters of financial and administrative management. The SDC also promotes mobilisation of communities’ internal resources and the transfer of funds from the state. To improve governance, it is active for example in promoting recognition of the role of traditional authorities in the building of democracy.

Humanitarian aid, peacebuilding and security
Meeting the needs of displaced populations
Switzerland contributes to meeting humanitarian aid requirements for  protecting and assisting those who have fled the conflict in the north, some of whom have remained in Mali, while others have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.<>In the context of the Mali crisis, Swiss Humanitarian Aid finances partners in the field including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The SDC also works to strengthen the resilience of local populations to the food crises, which are increasingly frequent in the Sahel and affect Mali too.

Another division of the FDFA, the Human Security Division, is assisting with the peace dialogue in Mali, providing support to the mediation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

History of Swiss cooperation
Focus on the real needs of the people
Mali has been a priority country for Swiss development cooperation since 1977. The SDC Cooperation Office, opened in 1980, initially concentrated on the environment, village hydraulics and health. Gradually the focus has shifted to the country’s institutions and to encouraging the people to participate in defining the priorities of cooperation and its implementation. This approach makes it possible to provide a response that is increasingly better tailored to meet people’s real needs.


Background information Mali
Facts and figures
Surface area
Annual population growth rate (since 1990)
Life expectancy at birth women / men
Adult illiteracy rate: women / men
Gross Domestic Product GDP per capita
Percentage of population with less than 2 USD per day
52.5 / 50.3
79.7 / 56.6

Source: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2013

Background information provided by the BBC

Local SDC contact address:

Mali (Bamako)

Bureau de la Coopération Suisse au Mali
B.P. 2386
Bamako - Mali

Phone +223 20 21 32 05
+223 20 21 73 62
Fax +223 20 21 81 79
Email bamako@eda.admin.ch
Website www.cooperation-suisse.admin.ch/mali/

Additional Information and Documents

Here, you will find more publications, links, documents and articles about Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid in this country.