Mauritania + 1 more

UNICEF Mauritania COVID-19 Situation Report: 01: January to June 2022


Situation in Numbers

59,814 COVID-19 confirmed cases
58,306 recoveries
983 deaths (March 2020 - June 30th, 2022)

1,335,183 people have been fully vaccinated

715,000 people in need

435,000 children in need


During the lean season of 2022, 20% of the population will be severely food insecure (versus 11% in 2021), with a high risk of a rapid deterioration of the nutritional situation. A broader scale emergency response is required. The nutritional emergency affects 22 of 55 districts with a global acute malnutrition rate of over 15% and/or a SAM rate of over 2%.

Due to the multiplication of incidents across the border with Mali, an increase of almost 15% of the population of the M’Berra camp has been recorded. In addition 850 Mauritanian households returned from Mali with 736,400 livestock heads in March 2022. This situation requires special attention for a rapid multisectoral response in the camp and host communities in order to maintain cohesion and social peace in this border area where the security situation is fragile.

Given the occurrence of confirmed cases in neighbouring countries, a second campaign against the polio epidemic took place in March with the support of UNICEF.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

The HAC 2022 is currently funded at 29,1% for interventions relating to nutrition, health, WASH, education, child protection, C4D community engagement, and social protection. It’s worth noting that only US$ 3.6 million were received during the reporting period, while 7,8 million were carried over from 2021, of which 50% is related to cash transfer. There is a great need for sustaining efforts along the humanitarian-developmental nexus. UNICEF Mauritania wishes to express its heartfelt gratitude to all public and private sector donors.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

According to the results of the Cadre Harmonisé (March 2022), 878,921 individuals and 36 Moughata (departments) will face crisis conditions (phase 3+) during the peak of the upcoming lean season (June-August 2022). This corresponds to 20% of the population, one of the highest rates in the Sahel region, and reflects an increase of 64% compared to 2021. It is also the highest level ever recorded by the Cadre Harmonisé in Mauritania. Based on the SMART survey of 2021, the Nutrition Technical Group estimated the burden of acute malnutrition in 2022 at 135,250 cases, of which 32,740 SAM (severe acute malnutrition) cases.

In addition, the recent situation in Ukraine has had significant impacts on food prices in Mauritania as well as on pastoralism. The food security situation is also compounded by a significant acceleration in the influx of refugees due to heightened tensions and the multiplication of incidents across the border with Mali. More than 8,260 Malians arrived in Mauritania during the first semester of 2022, including 3,926 children and 1,164 adult women. Insecurity in Mali is also causing the return of Mauritanian transhumant herders. According to an interagency rapid assessment using IOM’s Emergency Tracking Tool (ETT), more than 850 Mauritanian households returned from Mali in March 2022 with urgent needs in terms of access to clean water, food, feed for livestock, and shelter. Many had lost assets, properties, and productive capital (livestock) as they escaped violence. Returning pastoralists manage herds estimated at 736,400 livestock heads, putting further pressure on already scarce resources in the region and sparking fear of tensions with the host population over access to water.

In December 2021, Mauritania experienced the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with a daily peak of more than 1,200 cases. As a result, restrictive measures were reinforced, including curfew, ban on gatherings in public spaces, and mandatory testing and vaccination at entry points of the country. The government accompanied these measures with awareness campaigns and the promotion of preventive measures against COVID-19, with the support of technical and financial partners, including UNICEF. These measures were lifted in February 2022, following significant decrease in new cases. Awareness-raising remained necessary to maintain compliance with the barrier measures and to improve vaccination coverage. The vaccination strategy has been extended to children aged 12-18, starting December 2021. As of 30 May 2022, 928,387 people have received at least one dose (66,4%) and 1,335,183 are fully vaccinated.

Efforts towards eradicating polio in Mauritania continued during the first semester of the year, given the occurrence of confirmed cases in neighbouring countries (Senegal, Gambia and Mali). 889,689 children under the age of five were vaccinated during the second campaign (29 March to 01 April 2022). UNICEF is providing technical and financial support for communication and vaccine management.