The increasing insecurity in the centre of Mali has left its mark. Public and economic life in rural areas has been increasingly disrupted. The retreat of the state has led to more criminality and allowed terrorist and jihadist groups to gain influence. Terrorists and jihadists increasingly use existing grievances, such as conflicts over land, which in turn gives rise to local militias and growing inter-communal violence.
As chair of the international donor group in Mali, the Netherlands led the periodic dialogue with the Malian authorities on security, governance and development issues. This dialogue has led to increased government awareness of the necessity to combine efforts on security and development. It has also resulted in progress in anti-corruption measures, for example the law on asset declaration by civil servants.
Due to the long-standing presence of Dutch implementing partners in the field and their good relations with the population, activities largely continued, even though the security situation worsened in the Netherlands’ focus regions of Ségou, Mopti, Tombouctou and Gao. Dutch development programmes registered tangible results for the Malian people, notably on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), for which the results actually exceeded expectations.