Mauritania Appeal No. 05AA030 Programme Update No. 2


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In Brief

Period covered: June to October 2005; Appeal coverage: 8.4%; Outstanding needs: CHF 408,656 (USD 328,053 or EUR 264,674).

Appeal target: CHF 446,293 (USD 354,500 or EUR 287,500).

Related Emergency Appeal: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger: Food Insecurity; Appeal no. 05EA015;

Programme summary: Over the years, Mauritanian Red Crescent(1) has conducted various drought and flood relief operations with the Federation and other partners. During this reporting period, however, the national society was not able to implement most of its planned activities due to inadequacy of funds.

The 2005 appeal has received an 8.4% coverage to date.

Operational developments

The Sahel region (which Mauritania falls under) is currently facing severe drought, resulting from a poor 2004-2005 harvest- which was prompted by the worst locust invasion in 20 years compounded by low rainfalls. Crops were greatly reduced, as was the availability of grazing land in pastoralist areas. This resulted in serious food insecurity in a region already suffering from chronic malnutrition and endemic poverty. On 22 July 2005, the International Federation launched Emergency Appeal 05EA015 seeking support from donors in order to provide assistance to millions facing starvation.

Shortly after the emergency appeal 05EA015 was launched, a cholera epidemic hit Mauritania, with 710 cases (11 deaths- including five children) recorded to date. On 16 August 2005 alone, nearly 99 cases were reported. While a proposal was developed by a Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) health member temporarily based in Mauritania, it was determined that the Federation does not currently have the finances or human resources available to undertake food assistance activities in Mauritania. Federation assistance to Mauritania focuses funding of the cholera response programme. Based on the proposal developed by the RDRT health member, the Federation has therefore provided financial support to the cholera response.

The main cause of the cholera outbreak was the abundant rain that fell in Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott. This recent evolution resulted in water contamination in the district of El Mina in Gazra, Nouakch ott- with a real risk due to poverty and a low level of awareness on sanitation. To respond to this situation and to reduce the risk of cholera outbreaks in other areas, the Mauritanian Red Crescent works closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) thanks to technical support from the Federation and financial support from the French Red Cross. The national society will train volunteers who will implement the activities.

The main strategies the volunteers will use for information, education and communication/ behavioural change communication (IEC/BCC) include:

  • Advocating for improved personal hygiene- by the "door to door" visits.
  • Advocating for sanitary preparation of food.
  • Dissemination of key message through the social community mobilization.

Health and care

Goal: To contribute to improved health of vulnerable populations in Mauritania through the establishment of a health programme based on the ARCHI 2010 strategy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Objective: To contribute to the reduction of hygiene and sanitation related illness, malaria, sexually transmitted infections, vaccine-preventable diseases, and malnutrition in four pilot zones through social and community mobilization activities.

So far this year, the following has been achieved:

An ARCHI 2010-based health planning initiative was launched and has been strongly supported by the Ministry of Health (MoH). Many other locally-based international partners are now interested in this initiative.

Disaster management

Goal: Capacity of communities and branches in four pilot regions, as well as headquarters, to prepare, plan, and respond to emergencies is effective.

Objective 1: Put in place a sub-regional disaster management structure within the four branches and the headquarters.

Objective 2: Recruit and develop emergency response brigades in four pilot regions (Gorgol, Assaba, Brakna, and Guidimaka).

Objective 3: Develop and implement two integrated disaster preparedness, first aid, community health and social action programmes within each of the four pilot branches.

So far this year, the following has been achieved:

A headquarters staff member is now coordinating disaster-related issues.

Two provincial coordinators responsible for regional disaster preparedness and management were recruited and trained, with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) funding.

Engaged two volunteer brigades (comprising of ten persons in Kaédi, Gorgol and another ten in Aleg, Assaba) in a hygiene and sanitation project, thus providing the a basis for emergency response in the two regions.

Developed a first aid training project (in Nouadhibou) which trained volunteers within the Iron Mining National Company and organized them into emergency response brigades to handle possible crisis along the Sahara border.

Trained the national programme coordinator in emergency WatSan during a regional workshop held in Cameroon.


Through its brigades, the Mauritanian Red Crescent has gained relevance and visibility within the community.

The disaster management skills of the trained staff have been enhanced and the national society is better placed to handle crises.

Organizational development

Goal: To decrease vulnerability of people living in Mauritania through improved service delivery by the Mauritanian Red Crescent.

Objective 1: The Mauritanian Red Crescent has prepared a strategic development plan, which allows it to restructure itself, reinforce its capacities, and execute programmes that have an impact on those it seeks to assist.

Objective 2: Financial management capacity of the Mauritanian Red Crescent is strengthened.

So far this year, the following has been achieved:

A four-year strategic plan (2005-2008) has been developed with Federation support. The new strategic plan has been translated into Arabic and distributed to potential partners from Arabic speaking countries.

Two regional coordinators have been recruited to renew the regional committees, disseminate messages, and initiate activities at regional level- one for the Nouadhibou region (north) and the other for Aleg (southwest). The engagement of the regional coordinators helped the decentralization process to begin.

One year financial support was earmarked for the position of secretary general to consolidate the national society's staffing and programmes while it undertakes its strategic planning and professionalizing processes.


The two regional coordinators provided training on dissemination of Humanitarian Values and Fundamental Principles, disaster preparedness and response, and community health for the major local committees in their regions.

The support for the position of a secretary general has helped the national society to confront two basic challenges: strengthening the structure of its financial systems (in the same line as other Sahel national societies) and meeting the Federation's financial reporting standards.

The national society is elaborating its volunteering policy- based on the Federation policy- and is developing volunteer management tools.


Inadequate funding.

Insufficient number of core staff at headquarters.


(1) Mauritanian Red Crescent- refer to

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Mauritania: Mr. Mohamedou Ould Raby, Secretary General, Mauritanian Red Crescent, Nouakchott; Email: ; Phone +222.525.12.49; Fax+ 222.529.12.2

In Senegal: Alasan Senghore, Federation Head of West and Central Africa Regional Delegation, Dakar; Email:; Phone. +221.869.36.41; Fax +221. 860.20.02.

In Geneva: Madeleine Lundberg, Federation Regional Officer for West and Central Africa, Africa Dept.; Email; Phone +41.22.730.4.35; Fax +41.22.733.03.95

This Programme Update reflects activities to be implemented over a one-year period. This forms part of, and is based on, longer-term, multi-year planning (refer below to access the detailed logframe documents). All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at

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