Mauritania: Food Insecurity - Emergency Plan of Action Preliminary Final Report (MDRMR007) - 30 September 2016

Description of the disaster

This Food Security crisis is a regional crisis affecting the Sahel area. According to the last Harmonized Framework in March 2015, the food insecure population within Mauritania was estimated at 723,000 people in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) and an additional 260,000 people in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). The number of households in IPC Phase 2 has risen sharply over the last months. This reflects a gradual deterioration of the situation particularly for the rain-fed farming areas that face a second year of bad crop harvest. The projected situation for June-August 2015 estimated that the number of people affected would increase to 851,000 people under Stressed (Phase 2), 443,000 people in Crisis (Phase 3) and 21,000 people in emergency (Phase 4) on the IPC scale. The food insecurity situation affected the provinces of Hodh Elchargui (19.5%) of the total population), Assaba (16.3%), Brakna (14.9%), Gorgol (14.6%), Hodh Elgharbi (14%) and Guidimakha (13.9%).

According to the Harmonized Framework, (March 2015) the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence is 6.2%. This is supported by the various nutritional surveys carried out at the post-harvest period, which ranged from 5.6 to 8.5% nationally. No region of the country exceeds the 10% threshold, but the regions of Hodh El Charqui (9.6%), Guidimakha (9.4%), Brakna (8.8%) and Gorgol (7.7%) are the most affected. It is in this context that the International Federation supported the Mauritanian Red Crescent to respond and provide relief to the most affected people.

Summary of current response

Overview of Host National Society

To ensure the relief activities were implemented in an effective and efficient manner, the Mauritanian Red Crescent (MRC) invested in trainings. The trainings included two nutrition training sessions targeting 30 volunteers from the two intervention areas. The training enhanced the volunteers’ knowledge of malnutrition, screening techniques, referral of severe malnutrition cases to health facilities, recording, water, hygiene and sanitation, awareness techniques for behavioural change.
The training was followed by nutrition screening campaigns simultaneously conducted in Magtaa Lahjar and Tintane.

The campaigns enabled the identification and registration of 2,000 beneficiaries (i.e. children from 6 to 23 months old, pregnant and lactating women). 1,933 beneficiaries out of the targeted 2,000 beneficiaries benefited from the distribution of enriched food. The screening activities were complemented by awareness campaigns to promote good nutrition practices and behavioural change. A total of 1,400 households (8,400 people) were reached by the promotion of good hygienic practices.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

With support from the British Red Cross, 25 volunteers benefited from NDRT training on food security, livelihoods, nutrition and cash transfer programming organized in Nouakchott in June-July 2015.
French Red Cross (FRC) also supported training in livelihoods and cash transfer programing in September, 2015. The FRC supported training targeted 20 volunteers from local committees that had not participated in the NDRT training.

Additionally, together with the French Red Cross, the National Society started implementing a prevention and response plan for the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Mauritania for a period of 6 months. This response plan against EVD aims at contributing to the reduction of morbidity and mortality related to EVD targeting 23 villages in Trarza, Brakna, Gorgol, Assaba, Guidimaka, HodhCharghi, and Hodh Gharbiand in Nouakchott regions.

It is worth mentioning that Mauritanian Red Crescent was technically supported by the IFRC Regional office in Dakar that first deployed an RDRT followed by an operation manager. In terms of Resource mobilisation, a regular communication with donors was held in order to raise more resources for the appeal.

In collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and within the framework of its annual partnership action plan with Mauritanian Red Crescent a capacity building program, training staff and volunteers on first aid, communication, and economic security (ECOSEC) was conducted.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

The Mauritanian Government has been leading the coordination of responses by national agencies such as the Food Security Commissioner (CSA), the Agriculture Department as well as humanitarian actors including WFP, FAO, UNICEF, OCHA, ACF, Oxfam and Save the Children. It is worth mentioning that these latter supported the affected people through the distribution of either food items or cash. The National Society regularly participated in the coordination meeting held at national and regional levels.