Monthly Humanitarian Situation Report Mauritania, 23 April 2012
1. Mauritania faces an unprecedented double emergency. The southern regions of Mauritania which are affected by a nutrition crisis are now hosting refugees fleeing conflict in Mali.
2. As a result of the nutritional crisis affecting much of the south, 35,000 children are suffering global acute malnutrition (GAM), more than 5,000 of those have severe acute malnutrition (SAM). As many as 90,000 children could suffer GAM in 2012, including 12,600 SAM.
3. WFP and the Food Security Commission (CSA) have found that 25% of rural households are food insecure and the situation is not expected to improve until September at the earliest.
4. In response to the nutrition crisis, UNICEF and its partners are supporting the Government of Mauritania to provide live saving interventions while strengthening the resilience of communities to external shocks. UNICEF is identifying and treating malnourished children and is improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
5. Since 25 January 2012, over 56,000 refugees have fled from Mali into south-eastern Mauritania. The situation in Mali is worsening, preventing their return.
6. The area of Mauritania hosting the refugees is difficult for humanitarian workers to access due to long distances, difficult terrain and security concerns. The communities that are hosting the refugees are vulnerable and facing severe food insecurity.
7. UNICEF is working with its partners to respond to the needs of refugee children and women by providing nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health services, education and child protection in the camps and for the host communities.
8. UNICEF requests $3.2 million for the nutrition crisis (60.25% funded) and $4.7 million for Malian refugee response in Mauritania (22.23% funded). Requirements are expected to increase as the situation continues to develop.
9. We need to massively scale up our interventions in order to meet the needs.
10. A Common Humanitarian Action Plan is being drafted.