Mauritania: Food and Nutritional Insecurity - Final Report, Appeal № MDRMR011



  • October 2019: Drought and pastoralist crisis Alert (ACF: Action Contre la Faim/Action Against Hunger).

  • November 2019: Positioning note disseminated by IFRC Dakar Cluster Delegation alongside the publication of the Food Security Harmonized Framework results analysis

  • December 2019: Red Cross/Red Crescent awareness and positioning meeting in Dakar (lead by FIRC);
    Mauritania Red Crescent requests for support.

  • January 2020: Red Cross/Red Crescent positioning note published

  • February 2020: A joint assessment on food and nutritional situation was conducted by the IFRC, French Red Cross and the Livelihoods Resource Centre in Mauritania in most at risk areas (and under consideration of the Harmonized framework). Please see Report published in March 2020

  • July 2020: Launch of the Emergency Appeal.

August-September 2020: Deployment of a Surge resource person specialized in CVA.

  • October 2020: Deployment of a Surge resource person specialized in food security and nutrition for 04 months: for activities geared towards preventing malnutrition and support to cooperatives.

  • February 2021: Revision of the emergency appeal with a downward revision of the budget from CHF 1.1 million to CHF 875,000 to support 12,005 people instead of 14,800. Extension of the emergency appeal by 02 months (until 14 June 2021).

Situation overview

In 2020, Mauritania faced a difficult food and nutritional situation, as a result of drought, especially in 2018, which was described as historical with a decrease of almost 30% in rainfall compared to 2017. The analyses of the harmonized framework of November 2019 gave an estimation of at least 609,184 people in severe food insecurity (IPC phases 3 and more) during the lean season between June and September 2020, coupled with the results of the SMART survey (2019) showing a critical nutritional situation, with some regions of the country, notably the Barkéol region, with prevalence of Acute Malnutrition above emergency thresholds (GAM >15% and/or SAM > 2%)1. This situation is considered to be the worst in the country since the advent of the Harmonized Framework in Mauritania (2012).

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation, with a strong socioeconomic impact on the populations’ livelihoods and has increased the number of people in need. The latest WFP analysis (September 2020) shows that around 901,000 people are now at risk of food insecurity, i.e., an increase of 48% compared to the latest projections of the Harmonized Framework of November 20192. An analysis of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods conducted in September 2020 by Save The Children in Mauritania highlighted this situation of need, with 1,155,073 people facing a deficit against the survival threshold and the livelihoods protection threshold, compared to 628,069 people before the health crisis.

Until October 2020, resources mobilized by the government and humanitarian actors only covered the food needs of 323,750 people out of the 609,180 that are in a situation of food insecurity, located in the 23 priority moughataas (departments). Mauritania Red Crescent (MRC) conducted an assessment in February 2020 with the support of the IFRC, the IFRC Livelihoods Resource Centre, the British and the French Red Cross Societies in the departments of Barkéol, Modjéria, Mbout and Ould Yenge. The assessment revealed that rainfall deficit affected the country economic security and compromised the main livelihood activities of households.

Within the framework of a coordinated response and in accordance with Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners an Emergency Appeal was launched in July 2020 in Mauritania to contribute to the National Response Plan to respond to food insecurity and malnutrition situation, and to protect and recover most vulnerable people livelihoods from the adverse effects of the drought.