A landlocked country in West Africa, Mali is among the poorest countries in the world. Repeated colonisation in the last 150 years has left it heavily indebted and dependent on foreign aid. Its poverty is now severe and requires a huge structural response.

    Over 90% of the country's population are Muslims who adhere to classical Islam. In its past, Mali was a hub for knowledgeable 'ulama and pious worshippers. Its abundant resources were used as Sadaqah for the poor Muslims of Africa.

    Up to a third of Mali's population are today facing added pressure from conflict and occupation. Displacement induced by the recent unrest has affected millions of Malians - hundreds of thousands of whom have fled through the country's porous borders to neighbouring countries.