Since 2012, Mauritania has been hosting Malian refugees on its territory following the outbreak of the security crisis in Mali. As of January 2021, there are some 63,600 Malian refugees in the arid south-east Bassikounou area, where Mbera refugee camp is located, and some 5,900 urban refugees and asylum-seekers in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou. While some refugees are on the path to self-reliance, others find it difficult to meet their basic needs. Conscious of the likely prolonged nature of forced displacement in the country, the Government of Mauritania is strongly committed to ensuring the protection of refugees while promoting their increased self-reliance and the resilience of host communities.
Mauritania is a party to several international conventions related to refugees and the Government of Mauritania pledged to pass a national asylum law during the Global Forum for Refugees (December 2019).
Since the establishment of Mbera camp in 2012, UNHCR, WFP and the Government of Mauritania have worked closely together on the provision of food assistance and livelihoods programming to support essential needs and refugee self-reliance.
In 2021, with support from UNHCR and the World Food Programme (WFP), the Government of Mauritania will include refugee households in the national Social Registry of Mauritania, in order to allow eligible refugees to benefit from the assistance under national social protection programmes.