Living conditions for Mauritanian families continue to be precarious. Due to its arid climate and predominate desert land, less than one per cent of Mauritania’s soil can be used for agriculture. The country therefore relies heavily on food imports, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in international food prices. Large numbers of people in Mauritania also lack access to basic sanitation and water as the majority of the country’s population is nomadic and does not have regular access to basic necessities.
In recent years, a series of food crises have had a deep impact on the nutritional situation of young children in the country. Mauritania's scarce resources have also been stretched thin by the large number of refugees who sought refuge from Mali in 2012, when tens of thousands of Malians left their homes and livestock behind, arriving in Mauritania malnourished and dehydrated. Continued access to resources like food, water and land is crucial for the health and safety of both the refugee populations and host communities
What we are doing
Action Against Hunger has worked in Mauritania since 2007, delivering life-saving services to malnourished children and providing families with access to food. We are also:
- Providing safe drinking water and sanitation services.
- Working in collaboration with local health actors, we’re improving their capacity to diagnose, treat and prevent malnutrition in young children
- promoting good care and hygiene practices so children don’t fall ill in the first place
In addition, we’re helping families and small-scale farmers to grow nutritious food and improve their diets by training them to diversify their crops so they can weather food insecurity shocks during the hunger gap - the period of routine scarcity between harvests.