Since the beginning of the military operation in Mali and the subsequent new refugee influx, UNICEF is stepping up and expanding interventions in partnership with UNHCR and a range of other partners to meet the growing humanitarian needs for the refugee children and the host communities. As of 1 February, there are 64,021of which 9904 newly arrived.
UNICEF in coordination with UNHCR and partners has reinforced lifesaving actions in terms of nutrition, health, water and sanitation, child protection and education to assist the newly arrived refugees.
Food insecurity is expected to remain at a minimum in most parts of the country between November and March 2013 due to good crop prospects, and income from farming activities. Potential threats include an upsurge in locust activity, reported by the National Locust Control Center in Hodh El Gharbi, Tagant, Brakna, Trarza, Inchiri, and Adrar, as well as high prices for millet, which is an essential dietary staple. Well-targeted humanitarian and development programs are needed to build the resilience of affected communities.
Nevertheless, malnutrition rates among children under-five years old remain critical: 122,719 children are expected to be acutely malnourished (severe and moderate) in Mauritania in 2013. Estimated caseloads of 23,901 children under-five are expected to be severely malnourished in Mauritania in 2013, nearly doubling from last year.
Overall nutrition rates vary between serious and critical depending on regions. Nationally, the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate is at 12%, according to a survey (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions SMART) carried out by the Minsitry of Health with UNICEF support in July 2012. This is an increase from the July 2011 survey (10.7%). The Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) prevalence rate has also increased from 1.4% to 1.7%. The SMART for January is ongoing and preliminary results are expected in February.
Additional 197 health facilities providing SAM services will be opened by the Ministry of Health with UNICEF support to increase coverage.
The SAM reporting system will be improved with the implementation of Rapid SMS in 2 regions as a pilot phase
The threshold for critical Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) of 15% prevalence rate is exceeded in four regions: Hodh Chargui (16.2%), Assaba (16.4%), Brakna (17.1%), Tagant (18.2%). In Brakna and Tagant, Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) exceeds the critical threshold by 2%.
From January to December 2012, 10,736* children under-five affected by Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) have been admitted and treated, representing 85% of the expected caseload of 12,600.
These data are partial and will be supplemented by information from Assaba, Brakna Hohd El Chargui Guidimakha Tagant, Nouakchott, Nouadhibou data