Première Urgence Internationale is implementing multiple projects aimed at enhancing healthcare access in the Kidal region, located in northern Mali. This area has been plagued by security challenges for many years, underscoring the critical need to bolster humanitarian assistance, particularly in the healthcare sector.

Since 2013, Première Urgence Internationale has been implementing interventions in the Kidal region to provide support to populations facing challenges within a weakened healthcare system. In addition to supporting health centers in the region, the NGO deploys mobile clinics to grant isolated populations access to quality healthcare.


The Kidal region, located in northern Mali, has been a backdrop to political and security disturbances for over a decade. The crisis of 2012, during which several rebel groups declared the independence of this territory, led to the establishment of a dual governance system in the Kidal region, divided between official state organs and parallel structures set up by the separatist groups. The Kidal region is also marked by unprecedented activity of radical armed opposition groups in neighboring regions, particularly in Ménaka and Gao. These groups carry out terrorist attacks, targeting both Malian security forces and civilians, forcing a portion of the population to flee to the Kidal region.

The humanitarian situation in Kidal has become alarming since 2022, with over 80,000 people currently in desperate need of humanitarian assistance*. The urgency is evident, and waves of conflict-displaced individuals continue to flow into Kidal: while the region had around 400 displaced people by the end of 2021, they now number nearly 23,000 in August 2023. The majority of displaced families face extremely precarious living conditions, having left all their belongings behind. This is the case for Ahmad, a father of a family encountered by the Première Urgence Internationale team, who had to flee his village due to the conflict: “Most of us came here on donkeys, others by public transport. For those of us who came on donkeys, the journey took a month and three days. We suffered a lot because we lacked water, food, and money.”

In the context of regional insecurity and the continuous arrival of conflict-displaced individuals, Kidal is grappling with significant challenges in terms of development and access to basic social services for its population, particularly concerning healthcare access. Indeed, the duplication of the governance system in the Kidal region complicates the operation of an already fragile healthcare system: most of the region’s health facilities are non-functional and lack qualified healthcare professionals, in an extensive desert region where the majority of the population leads a nomadic lifestyle, far from health centers.

The healthcare situation is thus strained, marked by the prevalence of diseases such as acute malnutrition and infectious diseases like malaria, which are major public health issues in Mali, being among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality.


To address the vulnerabilities of the healthcare system in Mali, Première Urgence Internationale intervenes in the Kidal region to enhance healthcare access for populations affected by the crisis. The deployment of its mobile clinics enables the delivery of free and accessible primary healthcare to nearly 700 people each month. Almouner, now living in Tassik, in the commune of Kidal, testifies: “Thanks to the presence of Première Urgence Internationale, our children were treated for fever, cough, and diarrhea, and they were vaccinated.”

These mobile clinics in Mali are deployed in areas where the highest concentration of internally displaced people is found, most of whom fled their villages due to conflicts.

IDP site in the Kidal region | © Première Urgence Internationale

They are also deployed in remote villages located more than 15 kilometers away from a health center. Boubacrene, a resident of Tintersene, an isolated village, benefited from free healthcare services provided by Première Urgence Internationale‘s mobile clinic: “We are very happy because we received free healthcare. Our community has been afflicted by illnesses for a long time and couldn’t access medical assistance. For years, the people of Tintersene had to cover long distances to reach a health center.”

Beyond the mobile clinics in Mali, Première Urgence Internationale implements multiple activities to address the needs of the region’s population, including setting up an epidemiological surveillance system, organizing awareness campaigns and mass screening to combat acute malnutrition and infectious diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, as well as donating medicines and equipment to health centers. These initiatives improve the daily lives of over a thousand people every month. “Thank God, we now feel safe and benefit from the medical assistance of international organizations working in Kidal, including Première Urgence Internationale. We intend to stay here until lasting peace is restored,” emphasizes Almouner.

Première Urgence Internationale‘s projects in the Kidal region are implemented thanks to financial support from the European Union and the Global Fund.

Find out more about our humanitarian actions in Mali.

* OCHA | Mali : Humanitarian Response Plan 2023

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