Mauritania + 2 more

WFP Mauritania Country Brief, October 2020

Situation Report
Originally published



• Interventions in support of drought-affected people during the lean season ended in October. But due to some operational delays, the distributions for Hodh El Charghi and Guerue have been postponed to early November. A total of 113,020 people (100 percent of the target) received cash transfers as part of the general food distributions.

• Nutrition activities for MAM treatment reached 9,680 children and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) in Assaba, Gorgol, Guidimakha, Hodh El Charghi and Tagant regions. In the 187 malnutrition treatment centres in Nouakchott, 4,819 children and 1,436 PLW were also assisted and 632 children and 136 PLW were admitted to the programme, respectively 76 percent and 50 percent of the planned. These figures highlight a significant increase in the number of admissions compared to the beginning of the programme in September mainly due to a communication awareness campaign which has reduced the reticence of families to screen children.

• Through the school feeding programme, 30,902 Mauritanian children received a morning porridge and a hot lunch.

• In Mbera refugee camp, the general food distributions of October were coupled with those of September in respect of COVID-19 preventive measures. 58,144 refugees were reached. At this stage, groups 1 to 3 - the most food-insecure households - continue to receive the full hybrid food and cash ration, while group 4 continues to receive cash only. WFP and UNHCR have requested support from their headquarters’ joint targeting hub to assess the situation and devise the way forward in 2021. As part of the school meals programme, WFP assisted 4,157 schoolchildren, 11 percent more than planned, highlighting how school feeding activities are contributing to improve school enrolment. The number of beneficiaries reached are as follows: ✓ Treatment of moderate acute malnutrition: 592 children aged 6-59 months and 260 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) received respectively 1.755 mt of Plumpy Sup and 1.560 mt of Super Cereal Plus. It resulted that 211 children and 25 PLW were cured, while 388 children and 262 PLW remained in the programme and will continue to receive assistance.
✓ Prevention of acute malnutrition: Between 13 October and 1 November, distributions took place at the same time as an information and awareness-raising campaign on nutrition- related messaging for men and women on infant and young child feeding, care, and hygiene practices and gender equality. A total of 1,511 children aged 6–23 months and 692 PLW were reached and received 13.228 mt of Super Cereal.

• WFP continued to strengthen the capacity of the national Commission for Food Security (CSA)’s on the implementation of a reliable and consensual early warning and shock response system. In October, WFP and the CSA signed an agreement for the establishment of the system.

• As part of the SDG Project “Developing an integrated social protection model in the region of Guidimakha”, WFP, UNICEF and the World Bank agreed to conduct a joint study which will focus on improving the methodology for implementing the Social Register before its first full update in 2021.

• The World Food Day was celebrated on 16 October in Nouakchott. Together with FAO, WFP organized a special event around the theme "Cultivate, Feed, Preserve. Together” with the presence of Government and partners. This was an occasion to showcase WFP’s work toward resilience and its contribution to reinforce social cohesion and increase resource sharing between communities.

• UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) transported 141 passengers and over 360 kg cargo, connecting Nouakchott-Kiffa, through over 32 in-country rotations. The rehabilitation works for the Bassikounou airstrip were completed on 15 October 2020 thanks to ECHO, UNCERF and BPRM contributions. The evaluation of the runway and a test flight were successfully carried out on 20 October 2020 in collaboration with AVSEC and WFP’s Chief Air Transport Officer (CATO).

• WFP and UNFPA are discussing a joint action plan as part of their partnership for “Providing food assistance and reproductive health services to women and girls of childbearing age in Mauritania”. The two agencies also plan to jointly organize the 16 days of activism that kicks off in November, to fight against gender-based violence.

• WFP continues to provide on-demand logistics services to the Government, United Nations and non-governmental partners to facilitate effective field operations. In October, WFP dispatched 28 mt of medical equipment throughout 22 hospitals of the country.