IOM, in partnership with key stakeholders, including governmental, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies, continues to provide humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and affected communities while working to address the drivers of the conflict, in alignment with the strong commitment to operationalize the triple Nexus made during the ministerial roundtable convened in October 2020 to gather political and financial support for Central Sahel.
IOM will respond to the humanitarian needs of displaced and conflict-affected populations in the central and northern parts of the country. Particular attention will be paid to vulnerable groups and persons with specific needs such as the youth, pregnant and lactating women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.
IOM continues to provide tailored shelter/NFI assistance to the most vulnerable IDPs to address their urgent needs and alleviate their suffering. According to several recent field assessments and surveys, shelter and NFI are among the three priority needs cited by displaced persons. IOM works with implementing partners which will be trained on inclusive distribution techniques as well as on cross-cutting protection, including GBV risk mitigation and Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA). IOM's initiatives will include:
- Prepositioning and distribution of emergency shelter and/or NFI kits composed of tarpaulins and household items such as kitchen kits, hygiene consumables, also to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in line with cluster standards and the expectations of the target populations. Hygiene items will be harmonized with the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster.
- Provision of shelter repair kits (SRKs) for the rehabilitation of damaged houses. This will enable more dignified and safer housing conditions.
- Provision of support to build transitional shelters in communities of return.
- Preservation of the safety and dignity of crisis-affected populations by ensuring that existing emergency and transitional shelters are maintained and upgraded.
- Improvement of the main temporary sites’ preventive measures in Mopti, Segou, Timbuktu, Gao and Menaka to ensure site safety and hygiene for IDPs. This involves a physical reorganization of the living space to reinforce physical distancing.
- Providing isolation tents for suspected and declared cases in temporary sites in Mopti and Gao.
- Interventions will be in line with the Shelter/NFI cluster guidelines, and the targeted populations (i.e. IDPs in sites and in host communities) will be selected through transparent processes adapted to the local context and relevant vulnerability criteria, in coordination with relevant authorities and local communities. A complaint mechanism will be put in place and communicated to those assisted. Following the distribution of materials by IOM or its partners, the construction of the shelters will be done by the beneficiary households who will be trained and accompanied in the process. In addition, the teams will construct or promote the construction of shelters for households whose vulnerable members would not be able to set up their own shelter.
To support the site management response currently under the Site Management Committee of which IOM is a member (CCCM), IOM plans to:
- Continue to strengthen the capacities of government and humanitarian actors in site management best practices, and deploy mobile teams to help coordinate the provision of multi-sectoral services, in partnership with displaced communities.
- Set up mechanisms for governance and community engagement (including complaints and feedback mechanisms), along with systems for identifying and referring potential duplications and gaps in assistance. Those mechanisms will be participatory in nature and inclusive of all displacement affected community sub-groups, with particular attention provided to fostering the participation of women, girls and other under-represented categories of the population that are disproportionately affected by the crisis.
- Strengthen the accountability of the humanitarian response in temporary displacement sites, through community-led safety audits in those locations, hence contributing to mitigating protection, COVID-19 and GBV risks.
IOM will continue to provide safe access to high quality, timely and adequate WASH services in the targeted areas in the country. Initiatives will include:
- Working closely with the relevant authorities and ministries to explore how to implement structural improvements to infrastructure and sanitation services in the urban areas most affected by prolonged displacement for the long-term sustainability of the infrastructure.
- Constructing gender-segregated latrines, near shelters provided and in sites that are easily accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Ensuring adequate and safe access to potable water by drilling and constructing boreholes in IDP sites and host communities and identifying, with local authorities and communities, water points in need of re-commissioning and rehabilitation and re-commissioning and rehabilitating them. Wherever possible, unskilled labour will be sourced directly from the community, which will contribute to the development of livelihood activities and improve skills.
- Installing handwashing stations and providing WASH hygiene kits, inclusive of soap, in urban areas with a high displacement rate.
- Implementing adequate, dignified, and comprehensible hygiene promotion, including COVID-19 sensitization campaigns.
- IOM will measure the accountability of implemented projects through the monitoring and reporting of complaints. The measures include complaint mechanisms, post-distribution monitoring (PDM) activities in the WASH response as well as in all distribution’s activities. The Organization will also ensure that a gender perspective is included in its own human resources (HR) procedures to ensure that community workers include women and that a female staff member is always available during distributions in case women are more comfortable referring to them rather than to male staff. Equitable access to WASH facilities and services is essential to enhance the protection and dignity of IDPs and to achieve public health goals. In addition, IOM will ensure that access to WASH infrastructures is also provided to host populations to avoid potential conflict and competition for resources.
IOM will continue to work with the Ministries of Health and health sector partners in Mali to enhance healthcare provision for IDP and host communities. This will include:
- Improving the available local health resources through the establishment and support of the mobile community health workers (CHW) system.
- Supporting community health centers with essential medicines and medical supplies, where possible and necessary.
- Conducting health promotion and disease prevention activities in the IDP sites and surrounding host communities, utilizing context-specific and appropriate Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials. These health promotion activities will be undertaken by CHW, or through peer-to-peer education in the sites.
- Developing and reinforcing the existing referral mechanisms in informal IDPs sites and building the capacity of health professionals through trainings on these mechanisms.
- Training community health care centre staff and mobile community health workers on health information management to enhance capacity to use, collect, store and manage data, alongside how to aptly facilitate emergency referrals.
- Providing adequate health assistance to conflict-affected vulnerable populations and communities or referring them to appropriate medical facilities for treatment.
Following IOM’s Manual on Community-Based Mental and Psychosocial Health Support in Emergencies and Displacement, the Organization will target displaced and host communities affected by the crisis. Initiatives will include:
- Deploying psychosocial mobile teams, referral teams and community animators in displacement areas. The mobile teams will offer services and activities such as lay counselling, support group sessions, informal education, health sensitization, and referral for specialized MHPSS services.
- Implementing individual and group mental health and psychosocial support activities in target communities with interdisciplinary teams (art-based, sports and play, socio-cultural) to address psychosocial needs and strengthen community networks, as well as to aid victims of gender-based violence.
- Strengthening local capacities to carry out community-based MHPSS activities ensuring sustainability for the future.
- Conducting training for local stakeholders on the provision of psychological first aid (PFA).
- The psychosocial (PSS) mobile teams will be composed of psychologists and social workers and able to identify, attend, counsel, orient, refer and/or directly assist individuals in need of support, while those in need of medical assistance will be referred to the larger health structures for specialized and possibly longer-term mental health care.
- IOM will continue to ensure that standards and procedures are followed, responses are coordinated, and that a common understanding is established among MHPSS response partners on MHPSS concepts and terms, principles and models of work, community-based approaches and information sharing is respectful of IOM’s Data Protection principles.
In order to ensure that protection risks to which affected populations are exposed are reduced, IOM will conduct protection intervention and integrate protection mainstreaming principles across its crisis programming including through:
- Conducting needs assessments with vulnerable groups on their security concerns to mitigate the use of negative coping mechanisms.
- Strengthening the capacity of government, local authorities, security forces, and community members involved in the protection of crisis-affected populations on topics including but not limited to child protection, gender-based violence, protection mainstreaming, and trafficking in persons.
- Strengthening the capacity of humanitarian actors on GBV and protection mainstreaming.
- Supporting vulnerable women and girls with gender-specific NFI kits including dignity kits, baby kits, and/or menstrual hygiene management (MHM) kits.
- Supporting the establishment or strengthening of protection committees at displacement sites in coordination with the Protection Cluster and providing support to these protection committees with appropriate tools and capacity building initiatives to enhance community-based protection structures. These committees will ensure community-based protection monitoring, identification of protection risks through consultations on access to services and assistance, including information (e.g. identification of barriers and risks) and support in the safe and ethical referral of cases to appropriate services.
- Conducting sensitisation campaigns to raise awareness on existing protection risks, learn about the referral mechanisms and available protection services to seek assistance.
- Beneficiary selection criteria and the distribution mode will be determined in consultation with the target group with due consideration for gender dynamics within the community in order to guarantee effective and meaningful access, as well as in coordination with the Protection Cluster and relevant sub-clusters to ensure consistency.
- Deploying mobile teams to help coordinate multi-sectoral services, in partnership with displaced communities.
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
IOM in Mali seeks to address the root causes and impacts of displacement in order to prevent further crisis and allow for recovery, with particular attention to displacement affected populations in the center and northern parts of Mali. To strengthen social cohesion, IOM's approach targets local communities, including authorities, women and youth, as well as IDPs and host communities, as relevant to stability needs in the target localities, using a gender and conflict sensitive lens. At the level of each intervention site, the types of conflicts encountered will be identified in order to establish the lines of conflict (functional links), understand their evolution and frequency, know the most sensitive areas but also the prevention and management mechanisms and evaluate their degree of effectiveness. The results of this preliminary analysis of the state of conflict in the intervention zone will be used for the implementation of activities.
IOM seeks to contribute to building the resilience of conflict-affected populations in order to enhance stability, thus preventing further displacements and laying the foundation for durable solutions. Initiatives will include:
- The establishment of local fora, where representatives of all social groups (host communities, displaced and nomadic populations, youth and women) are gathered to make decisions in an inclusive, transparent and accountable manner to renew local governance mechanisms in a way that mitigates the perception of segregation that thorns the social fabric, and produces tangible peace benefits.
- The provision of livelihoods opportunities, supporting the most vulnerable individuals among host communities and displaced populations.
- The promotion of socio-cultural events.
- The strengthening of conflict-mitigation mechanisms over access to natural resources.
- The strengthening of basic social services.
IOM's approach emphasizes community ownership and trust in conflict resolution and prevention and the promotion of peace. A solid foundation built on trust encourages parties in conflict to diffuse tensions and find peaceful solutions to problems that, if left unchecked, could threaten and destabilise the entire community. As such, IOM will:
- Seek to expand vocational training programs in Gao, Mopti, Segou and Timbuktu regions for youth identified as exposed to a risk of engaging in violent or illegal activities.
- Support the implementation of the recent peace agreement in Djenne Circle, in the Mopti Region. In supporting the success of the peace agreement, IOM aims to demonstrate the gains of a peaceful resolution to serve as a model in other feuding areas that may choose to follow the example.
- Improve and streamline initiatives related to the governance of transhumance and access to natural resources, which are among the sources of inter-community violence exploited by violent extremist organizations (VEOs) in the regions of Mali, such as Gao, Mopti, Ségou, Sikasso and Kayes.
- Increase prevention efforts in communities identified as at risk, notably in border areas.
IOM supports community recovery and resilience-building efforts to address the factors that led to displacement as a prelude to the voluntary return of displaced populations to their places of origin and local integration in the places of displacement. In accordance with IOM's Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situations, initiatives will include:
- Strengthening the efforts and capacities of government and other key actors to better respond to the drivers of crisis and displacement, and to achieve durable solutions.
- Supporting more effective responses through the development of robust data collection, statistics, information, research, evaluation and monitoring on the factors and causes of vulnerability of displaced persons to crises and emergencies.
- Providing direct assistance to IDPs and the strengthening of rapid response mechanisms.
- Contributing to combatting trafficking in persons in crisis situations. This will include prevention campaigns aimed at potential victims, including young people, women and vulnerable IDPs
Besides being particularly vulnerable to slow-onset environmental events such as rising temperatures, land degradation and water scarcity, Mali is also affected by nationwide structural vulnerability to floods. According to IDMC, floods led to the displacement of 36,957 people in 2019. As such, it will be important to respond to assist affected populations and reinforce the capacities of governmental partners to prevent disaster and reduce risks linked to natural hazards.
Disaster prevention activities and measures are designed to avoid existing and new disaster risks. Aligned with the Sendai Framework priorities, IOM’s disaster risk reduction (DRR) programming works in crisis and post-crisis environments to prevent or reduce displacement associated with disaster and climate risk, and strengthen resilience by incorporating “build-back-better” measures in recovery and reconstruction. This includes multi-hazard risk assessments, community-based disaster risk management, developing early warning systems, government capacity-building, developing risk-informed policies and strategies, risk information systems, environmental protection measures, planned relocation, training and livelihood diversification. Specifically, IOM will:
- Implement community preparedness and risk reduction activities in anticipation of natural hazards.
- Support flood and drought response plans in many communes and the improvement of ad hoc infrastructures through in-kind support accompanied by an intense capacity-building mechanism together with the targeted communities.
- Organize DRR awareness campaigns in the communities most vulnerable to natural disasters.
IOM will seek to improve evidence-based interventions and policies in Mali by providing governmental, non-governmental and humanitarian actors in Mali, with data and analysis linked to the displacement of populations.
Conflicts related to access to natural resources occur both between agricultural and pastoral populations themselves, depending on the herds being transported or older community quarrels. In order to reduce tensions linked to resource management and conflict surrounding transhumance campaigns, IOM will improve cross-border cooperation between communities and local authorities in the prevention and management of conflicts related to access to natural resources, as well as strengthen local ownership of pastoral and agricultural resilience solutions along the Malian border between pastoral, agro-pastoral and agricultural populations. In addition, IOM plans further interventions to collect data on transhumance and agro-pastoral conflicts through IOM’s Transhumance Tracking Tool (TTT). With continued monitoring of displacement and needs analysis of vulnerable populations required to inform the humanitarian response, IOM aims to:
- Continue the provision of support to DNDS to ensure implementation of the DTM’s mobility tracking while increasing the scope of its analysis, geographical coverage (joint displacement monitoring efforts between Mali, Burkina and Niger will be deployed whenever possible) and frequency of reporting in order to cope with the rapidly deteriorating situation in conflict-affected regions. The need to closely monitor displacement and return movements and trends is essential, as is the need to monitor and evaluate those who have remained in conflict-affected areas. This will enable targeted life-saving assistance and contingency planning through reliable data collection and analysis on displacement numbers, types of displacement, routes and areas of settlement and origin, and multi-sectoral needs that are crucial for humanitarian actors and relevant stakeholders to develop appropriate responses. In addition, the data collected will enable the Government of Mali to develop more informed and targeted public policies for conflict-affected populations.
- Support recovery efforts and build community resilience to address the factors which drove forced displacement. Informed by its DTM Stability Index, and applying the principles from its Framework on the Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situations, IOM operates in areas of return deemed poised for longer-term sustainable recovery by working to improve access to basic social services, to restore infrastructure, to promote socio-economic recovery, including through support to social cohesion, local governance restoration, and through renewing access to livelihoods and to greater economic opportunities.
- Collect and analyse data through the Transhumance Tracking Tool, developed by IOM. IOM will propose social cohesion activities along at-risk zones, as defined by the TTT, to work with local governance structures in communities where transhumant movements may trigger tensions between herders and farmers to define conflict mitigation and resolutions methods to ensure peaceful transhumant campaigns. Where additional community infrastructure may be needed in order to cater for the passage of transhumant movements, IOM will similarly support the participatory local decision-making processes to define priority infrastructure that would contribute to conflict mitigation or resolution, and support relevant line ministries to respond to this collective prioritisation in direct response to communities who may otherwise be aggrieved.
- Encourage information-sharing between Sahelian countries on displacement.
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.