538,400 projected severely food-insecure persons (IPC Phase 3 & 4) (source: Cadre Harmonisé projections for 2018 lean season)
10.9 percent global acute malnutrition in children under 5 (source: SMART 2017)
US$ 43 m* six months (April-Sept 2018) net funding requirements, representing 70,6 % of total needs
Mauritania is a lower middle-income country in the Sahel, with a population of 4.4 million (UNFPA, 2017) living over a vast but mostly arid 1,030,700 km2 territory.
Mauritania is exposed to recurrent cycles of drought resulting in the degradation of natural resources and structurally affecting reproductive capacity and resilience of populations. Over the past five years, food insecurity rates ranged from 25 to 30 percent during the lean season. Global acute malnutrition rates are also high in children aged 6-59 months and above the WHO emergency threshold of 15 percent (SMART) in some departments, especially during the lean season.
Mauritania continues to host the second-to largest number of Malian refugees in the Sahel, with more than 53,000 refugees registered in Mbera camp as of March 20.
In March, in a Member State briefing in Geneva on the humanitarian situation in Mauritania, the Resident Coordinator, WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF and ACF Representatives drew attention on concerns for the worrying food security and nutritional situation the country is facing this year, and the serious funding gaps that all operations including UNHAS are incurring in. Meetings with ECHO/DEVCO were also held in Brussels (WFP and UN Resident Coordinator).
In March, WFP attended the 6th Africa Risk Capacity (ARC) Conference of Parties held in the capital of Mauritania. WFP called for sustained investments in long-term disaster risk reduction efforts, emphasizing in this regard the essential role of the ARC and ARC Replica initiatives in providing insurance-based financing and early respond to natural disasters on the African Continent.
2018 Humanitarian Response Plan
The results of the March Cadre Harmonisé and the Food Security Monitoring System assessment (started in February 2018) led WFP and humanitarian partners to refine the geographic targeting for the 2018 humanitarian response in coordination with the Government. Through a concerted and complementary approach, WFP, Government and partners will intervene in the high priority departments in the regions of Hodh Ech-Charghi, Gorgol and Guidimakha presenting the highest levels of hunger and malnutrition starting from April.
WFP increased its efforts for preparedness and programming of confirmed and advance funding to ensure early lean season interventions with nutritious foods and cash distributions, and for the scale-up of operations in June-September. WFP is preparing to assist 64,500 people during April-May (Phase I), and expects to cover 200,000 people during JuneSeptember (Phase II) based on funding currently confirmed. Areas targeted include three departments presenting the highest vulnerabilities.