The ICRC is helping women's associations and collectives in Timbuktu set up livelihood projects. One such group is this association of 10 women, mainly widows, left destitute by the conflict in Mali. With ICRC support, they have started a cottage industry making wire fencing – an item much sought-after by both arable and livestock farmers.
With an initial investment of 1.65 million CFA francs, they were able to buy two wire weaving machines. They were also given a small grant to buy equipment and raw materials to get this traditional activity up and running again. It is now their main source of income and allows them to provide for themselves and their families.