Highlights Situation in Numbers
As of December 28, a total of 13,778 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania since the first confirmed case was registered on 13 March 2020. So far, 8,248 people have recovered, and 236 people died.
The new school year (2020-2021) resumed on November 16. However, following the second wave of COVID-19 starting early December, the Government declared the schools’ closure just 20 days after the school year had started. This called for continuing interventions to provide children and adolescents with innovative learning opportunities in a safe and protective environment. Meanwhile, 120,000 masks and 5,000 radios were provided by UNICEF contributing to the back-to-school program.
Since January, 24,305 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were treated throughout the country. SAM admissions are 3% higher than the same period last year (24,305 versus 23,599) and this figure could be an underestimation due to the low proportion (55%) of reports completed in October. Six regions of the country recorded more than 15% increase in SAM compared to 2019.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF Mauritania wishes to express its heartfelt gratitude to all public and private sector donors (particularly, DFID,
ECHO, Japan, OFDA, USAID/FFP, USA-BPRM, Spanish and Swedish Committees for UNICEF) for the contribution and pledges received as part of the HAC 2019 and 2020. The HAC 2020 has been funded at 61 per cent for interventions related to SAM response, education and protection in an emergency, as well as WASH, Health and flood preparedness.
Mauritania would especially like to thank our donors who have contributed to ‘unearmarked’ funding. Unearmarked funding gives UNICEF essential flexibility to direct resources and ensuring the delivery of life-saving supplies and interventions where they are needed most, especially in the form of longer-term and predictable funding; and in strengthening preparedness and resilience building. As UNICEF Mauritania embarked in the third year of its country cycle (2018-2022), it is important to note that 75% of its Other Resources Regular (ORR) ceiling for the duration of its country program has been secured. A positive sign to strengthen interventions along the humanitarian-developmental nexus, particularly in the Guidimakha, Assaba and Hodh Chargui regions.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Over 1,409,000 people, including 609,180 severely affected by food insecurity, are estimated to have faced food and nutrition crisis conditions during 2020 in at least 23 districtsi . This represents 15% of the population, a record high among the Sahelian countries. In addition, COVID-19 has aggravated the already precarious food security and nutrition situation. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania registered its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on 13 March 2020. As of December 28, 13,778 confirmed cases were reported, including 330 deaths and 10,569 recoveries. Severe Acute Malnutrition admissions figures were 3% higher than last year and result mainly from three consecutive years of drought and food insecurity followed by COVID-19 impact on livelihoods. The protracted presence of refugees from Mali compounded the range of humanitarian needs. Mauritania has also been affected by floods during rainy season. Rainy season was characterized by large amounts of rainfall with a good spatial and temporal distribution. This situation resulted in ecological conditions favorable to the survival and reproduction of locusts throughout the country, which generated swarms of locusts that threatened food security and, by extent, the nutritional status of children.