Bridging the Arab Maghreb and the Sahel region, Mauritania is one of the world’s poorest countries. For the fifth year in a row, lack of rainfall and scarce vegetation have had a negative impact on pastoral areas in the south.
What are the needs?
More than half of Mauritania’s population depends on agriculture and livestock herding for food and income. Therefore, poor rainfall can have a devastating impact on communities’ food availability and livelihood. Southern Mauritania is particularly prone to dry weather and irregular rainfall patterns.
More than 609,000 people are estimated to be at risk of food shortages and requiring humanitarian assistance in Mauritania, especially because of droughts. The number of children facing acute malnutrition this year has doubled to 55,110 at-risk children. This increase is due to the combined effects of food insecurity and the coronavirus pandemic.
Mauritania hosts the second largest camp for refugees from Mali who, since 2012, have fled to Mauritania for safety. The majority of the 65,480 refugees hosted in Mauritania are from Mali.
The country registered its first coronavirus case in March 2020. The pandemic is a challenge to Mauritania’s health and monitoring system, especially as concerns early detection and containment.