The March 2012 coup in Mali and unfolding events in the north of the
country are explored in our Mali news section below. Mali is in
182nd place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked
in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the
living standards of a country.
The population of the country has a staggering 48.3% aged 14 or
younger, with over 8.6% of all children in Mali being born either
dead or dying shortly after birth. 4000 children in Mali are forced
to live on the streets, begging to survive, and easy targets for
exploitation, including child trafficking.
With a population of around 13.44 million, life expectancy in
Mali is just 50 years and there are 116 deaths for every 1000 births with some
75,000 children orphaned through AIDS alone out of a total orphan population of
710,000 out of a total child population of 6,507,000. Just 56% of children have
access to safe water and 74% of the population are illiterate with one third
suffering from chronic malnourishment.
Given the high proportion of young children in Mali
demography, it is hardly surprising that children in Mali start working at an
early age, if not labouring, then looking after their younger siblings. As such,
encouraging children, particularly girls, to attend and stay in education is
often very difficult.