Scott Braunschweig, CRS’ head of programs in Mali, talked to Vatican Radio about the country’s challenges and people’s hopes for a new government after Sunday’s run-off presidential election that saw former Prime Minister Ibrahim Keita defeat former finance minister Soumaila Cisse.
Interviewed before the results were final, Braunschweig speaks about a voter registration of 51 percent – a number he calls unheard of – indicating the people’s hope for a new chance after a year of conflict and turmoil. Among the issues important to the people of Mali, Braunschweig points out, are good governance, the economy and the ongoing violence in the north.
With most of Mali just having emerged from a drought and resulting food crisis in 2011, as well as a military coup in 2012 that led to a rebel movement seizing its northern territory before international military intervention, people are now looking to a new government for the restoration of peace and stability.
Meanwhile, CRS, along with its partner Caritas Mali, continues to help the country recover from this difficult time with food security projects that include cash transfers and the provision of seeds and fertilizer so people can take advantage of the upcoming rainy season.