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At the end of 2020, Mali hosted over 49,000 refugees and asylum-seekers of various nationalities. Continued insecurity, climatic shocks and communal conflicts have generated the forced displacement of 333,000 persons. Since 2013, 85,000 Malian refugees have returned to the country.

Although a spillover effect is observed in its neighbouring countries, Mali remains the epicentre of the protracted crisis in the Central Sahel. 

In 2020, the Government of Mali granted status to refugees from neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso without individual status determination. UNHCR Mali continues to address the pressing needs and find durable solutions for forcibly displaced persons, mainly through voluntary return and reintegration of returnees, as well as local integration opportunities for refugees, when conditions permit. 

UNHCR Mali also focuses on asylum issues and supports the government by strengthening the legal and normative frameworks and enhancing its protection capacity in compliance with international protection standards.

Aware of the need to better protect and assist internally displaced persons, the UN Refugee Agency continues to advocate for the domestication of the Kampala Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons. It also promotes the participation of Malian refugees living in neighbouring countries in the upcoming 2022 general elections.

Additional information

For information about our work in Mali:

Operational updates

For up-to-date information about our programmes and operations in Mali, including funding level and donor contributions, visit Global Focus, UNHCR's reporting portal.

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Legislation and guidance

For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.

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