Human Development Index
157 (out of 188 countries ranked)
People Helped in 2019: 341,056
People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs
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 2019, food insecurity was the major issue in the southern areas of Mauritania. For the third consecutive year, communities continued to face challenges due to scarce rainfall. Action Against Hunger teams implemented early warning mechanisms, and reinforced our work in the eastern region and in the Hod El Chargi, where support is most needed. Our teams also treat malnutrition and improve access to water and sanitation.