Children in Tienfala

Social situation Living conditions are very hard

Around half of the population lives in extreme poverty. Out of 1,000 newborn children, an average of 106 die before they reach the age of five. Life expectancy is a mere 58 years.

The annual population growth rate is three per cent – 48 per cent of Malians are below the age of fifteen. The education system is in a bad state. The school enrolment rate at primary level is just over 50 per cent and only about 50 per cent of the children enrolled finish primary school. Two-thirds of the population is illiterate.

About 60 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, earning a living from farming and livestock breeding. However, population growth and rural exodus are fuelling a rapid increase in urbanisation. The government is faced with the difficult task of creating employment opportunities for a fast-growing young population and ensuring access to basic services for all its people.