People Helped in 2018: 354,179
Mauritania is a vast desert—less than one percent of its land is usable for agriculture. The climate leaves very little opportunity for farmers, and makes the country more dependent on food imported from other countries, making many Mauritanians vulnerable to fluctuating food prices and problems of supply. Beyond high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition, Mauritania ranks poorly in terms of access to water and sanitation, as the majority of the country’s population is nomadic and has little regular access to basic necessities.
The country’s scarce resources are also being stretched thin by the growing number of refugees entering the country. In 2012, escalating violence in neighboring Mali forced more than 74,000 Malians to flee for their safety into Mauritania. Many Malians left their homes and livestock behind, arriving in Mauritania malnourished and dehydrated. Access to resources like food, water and land is crucial for the health and safety of both the refugee populations and host communities.
Action Against Hunger has worked in Mauritania since 2007, providing the country’s most vulnerable populations with access to food, safe drinking water, and sanitation services.
In 2018, drought in Mauritania - the worst in recent years - affected 600,000 people during the hunger season, 48% more than in 2017. Our work last year focused on responding to the nutrition crisis that has affected a large part of the country. We also expanded our work in Mbera refugee camp, located on the border with Mali. In 2019, we will treat malnutrition and help improve access to water and sanitation.