Mauritania: UNHCR Operational Update as of 9 August 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 12 Aug 2017 View Original

Mauritania hosts over 2,000 urban refugees and asylum seekers and almost 52,000 Malian refugees in Mbera, a camp established in 2012, in the arid south-east region close to the Malian border.

Despite the conclusion of a peace agreement in 2015, largescale returns of Malian refugees are not expected due to persistent violence in northern Mali. Last month alone, 168 new arrivals were registered in Mbera camp.

The protracted displacement situation in Mbera exercises a considerable pressure on already limited local resources in the Bassikounou region.

KEY INDICATORS

2,769
New arrivals from Mali in 2017

298
Voluntary returns to Mali facilitated in 2017

5,066
Malian refugees with specific needs (as of 31 July 2017)

FUNDING (AS OF 8 AUGUST)

USD 19.5 M
requested for UNHCR operation in Mauritania

Update on Achievements

Operational Context

In Mauritania, UNHCR provides protection and assistance to 51,915 Malian refugees in Mbera camp, in south-eastern Mauritania and 1,538 urban refugees and 636 asylum seekers (mainly from the Central African Republic, Syria and Côte d’Ivoire) in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou. UNHCR works closely with the Mauritanian authorities towards the development and implementation of a national asylum system. Pending the adoption of a national asylum legislation, UNHCR works with the authorities to enhance refugee protection in Mauritania by improving access to documentation, including birth registration, to basic services, such as health and education, as well as to economic opportunities.

In collaboration with the Mauritanian Government, which continues to keep its borders open to new influxes, and in cooperation with other UN agencies and national and international NGOs, UNHCR leads the humanitarian response for Malian refugees in the Hodh ech Charghi region since 2012. Despite the conclusion of a peace agreement in Mali in June 2015, large-scale returns of refugees are not yet expected due to the unstable security conditions in north Mali. In June 2016, Mauritania, Mali and UNHCR concluded a Tripartite Agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees. When conditions allow for return, this agreement will provide a framework to facilitate voluntary return. In the meantime, it reconfirms the commitment of Mauritania and Mali to protect refugees.