Mauritania suffers from recurrent droughts leading to food insecurity, high malnutrition rates, and disrupted livelihoods. In 2018, the lean season began in March, two months earlier than usual, and is expected to last until September. Over 538,000 people are estimated to be in IPC 3 (Crisis) and IPC 4 (Emergency) until the end of August. Drought conditions contribute to livelihoods disruption, with drought-related migration occurring several months earlier than usual and negative coping mechanisms reported across the agropastoral zone. ?

Regional instability and conflict in Mali continues to drive displacement into Mauritania, with over 56,000 refugees hosted in the south-east of the country. Refugees are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition.?

INFORM measures Mauritania’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be very high, at 5.5/10. The lack of coping capacities in the country are of particular concern.?

Latest Developments

10/07: Food insecurity is expected to stabilise at the Stressed (IPC-2) level over July-September across the country due to the scale of the livelihood deficits. Vulnerable households are expected to continue facing Crisis (IPC-3) food insecurity levels. ?

10/07: Average harvests are reported in Adrar region, while those in Tagant and Assaba are markedly smaller than the below-average harvests of 2017. ?

Parliamentary and local elections in Mauritania are scheduled for November 2018. ?

Key figures

  • 830,000 PIN due to natural hazards  [?]
  • 538,500 people in IPC 3 and 4  [?]
  • 32,000 children with SAM  [?]
  • 56,000 refugees from Mali  [?]

Key priorities

Food security: Food availability has been decreasing because of the reduction in agricultural production and the depletion of food reserves due to drought condition persisting across the country. Prices of imported food increased significantly in 2018, limiting the access to food, primarily affecting poor households.

Nutrition: Malnutrition rates are high due to poor food availability and access. 11% of children aged 6-59 months are acutely malnourished (GAM), with 2.3% presenting severe acute malnutrition, and 8.6% suffering from moderate acute malnutrition.  

Livelihoods: Livelihoods have been heavily affected by the drought leading to early transhumance, decreased income of affected households, and use of negative coping mechanisms, such as selling livelihoods assets.

Information Gaps and needs

Lack of department- or region-specific information concerning current needs and response.

Lack of information on condition of WASH infrastructure in areas affected by drought.

Lack of information on condition and availability of healthcare services in areas affected by drought.

Lack of information on the needs and movements of IDPs displaced due to natural hazards.

 Little information on current security situation.

Key documents

2018 Sahel Overview of Humanitarian Needs and Requirements