Mali, cradle of the great civilizations of West Africa, is today considered one of the poorest countries in the world. Its per capita income is 250 USD per inhabitant per year, that is, half of the country lives on less than one euro a day.
36% of the Malian population lives below the poverty line. The life expectancy of its inhabitants is 54.5 years, one of the lowest in the world. Infant mortality is almost 20%. Malnutrition is the number one cause of infant mortality.
The constitution guarantees free access to school, but only 44% of the children are full-time students. Schools are often far from rural areas, and classes are overcrowded. There is a serious shortage of infrastructure, as well as of qualified teachers.
Two out of three girls cannot read or write. The school dropout rate for girls is very high, due to the high number of child marriages.
80% of the population works in agriculture. However, seasonal variations (the wells dry up in February-March, and do not give water again until June-July), leave many of the agricultural workers without temporary employment. The emigration of young people that this causes has dire consequences for development.
30% of the population does not have access to drinking water.