national statistical offices (NSOs) in disaster response coordination and to improve subnational vulnerability analyses.
For each country the committee has addressed the background to and nature of the disaster, the results of the disaster for the affected population, and the response to the crisis in terms of data and geospatial information used. A focus on these issues was deemed more important, in the committee’s view, than an exhaustive historical overview of each country. The historical context, where relevant, has been developed from several general resources and the committee found United Nations reports, in particular, to be sufficient and thorough for this purpose. The committee would like to acknowledge the information sources it employed otherwise in this chapter, as we placed high value on gathering input from individuals in the national statistical or emergency management and development offices in each of these countries to accomplish the requested task. To this end, we contacted professionals from these countries with a set of questions regarding this study, together with invitations to our workshop. With direct and very valuable comment and participation received only from Mali, the committee supplemented its factual knowledge regarding population data and its use in emergency and development situations in Mozambique and Haiti by contacting other persons and organizations external to the national offices of these countries. These included humanitarian and development organizations of different sizes and purviews, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau which had established projects for several years in Mozambique. Personal interviews were also supported by information the committee acquired and determined applicable from disaster assessment reports issued during and after the countries’ crises by various international agencies like the United Nations, Save the Children, and the World Health Organization.
About two-thirds of Mali, north of 15 degrees north latitude, is covered by desert or semidesert of the Sahara and bordering short grasslands of the Sahel region (Figure 5.1). Northern Mali is inhabited principally by nomadic people of the Touareg and Arab-Berber (Moor) groups. The agricultural zone of the Niger River Basin in the south and east of the country is populated by at least six major ethnic groups including the Bambara, the Soninke, the Malinke, the Songhai, the Dogon, and the Voltaic peoples. The Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2005a) places Mali among the poorest countries in