In Mauritania, UNHCR provides protection and assistance to over 51,000 Malian refugees in the arid south-east region where Mbera refugee camp was established in 2012.
UNHCR protects and assists over 2,000 urban refugees and asylum seekers in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou, mostly from Central Africa, Syria and Côte d’Ivoire.
Security in northern Mali is still volatile and largescale returns are not expected. Protracted displacement places considerable pressure on the limited local resources.
Working with Partners
■ At the request of the Mauritanian Government, UNHCR coordinates the humanitarian response to the Malian refugee situation, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and Decentralization and local authorities. UNHCR also participates in the United Nations Country Team and Humanitarian Country Team, and works closely with national and international NGOs. Regular coordination meetings are held in Nouakchott and Bassikounou to share information on identified needs and agree on strategies. As part of the Mauritania 2018-2022 UNDAF strategy, UNHCR will continue to work together with other UN agencies to strengthen peaceful coexistence and self-reliance for refugees and host communities in Mauritania’s border areas.
■ In Mbera camp, UNHCR maintains and updates the refugee biometric registration database; provides tailored assistance to people with specific needs through home visits, psychosocial counseling, support for people with disabilities and carries out awarenessraising activities, training and response to gender-based violence, as well as child protection.
■ In urban areas, UNHCR carries out registration of asylum seekers and determination of refugee status. UNHCR also organizes refugee protection trainings for government officials (including police and military officers) and is supporting Mauritanian authorities with the finalization of a national refugee law.
■ In Mbera camp, UNHCR supports primary education with the payment of stipends for 241 school staff members, the maintenance of school infrastructure and the distribution of food in canteens. UNHCR also offers literacy and numeracy classes for 200 adults.
■ In urban areas, UNHCR helps 450 refugee children access primary and secondary education by covering tuition fees, providing school kits and offering tutoring. UNHCR also facilitates access to scholarships for refugees who are currently enrolled in Nouakchott universities and advocates for the enhancement of access to higher education for refugees.