Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Mauritania

May 14, 2015

Food Security Situation

Map of Mauritania
CIA World Factbook
  • Mauritania is a least-developed country, ranking 161 of 187 countries on the UN Development Program (UNDP) 2014 Human Development Index. Forty-two percent of the population lives below the poverty line. 
  • Mauritania typically imports 70-percent of its national food consumption needs as only 0.5-percent of land is available for agriculture. Populations in the eastern and southern regions of Mauritania depend upon subsistence agriculture and pastoralism as their primary livelihoods, and are especially vulnerable in the case of decreased rainfall. Currently, approximately 800,000 people remain food insecure due to poor harvests in southern Mauritania that has led to high food prices and limited food accessibility for poor households.

  • It is estimated that there are presently 66,392 Malian refugees in eastern Mauritania. The presence of refugees in Mauritania continues to affect the food security situation of vulnerable host populations in southern and eastern Mauritania due to increased pressure on local food stocks and resources. 

Food Assistance Programs

  • The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food-insecure Mauritanians and Malian refugees in the Gorgol, Guidimakha, Hodh el Gharby, Assaba, and Hodh el Chargui regions. FFP is implementing a broad range of strategies that aim to strengthen Mauritania’s overall food security and resilience to future shock. FFP partners with Save the Children and Action Against Hunger (AAH) to provide local and regionally purchased food as well as cash transfers to help families buy food on local markets.

  • FFP also partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) for targeted emergency food distributions to prevent and treat acute malnutrition in vulnerable populations. WFP activities focus on improving health and nutrition, community mobilization (infrastructure development and income-generating activities), and livelihood capacity development. 

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2015 $6.6 million 4,870 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $10.2 million 3,640 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $6.5 million 4,550 MT
Fiscal Year 2012 $20.6 million 6,340 MT
Fiscal Year 2011 $5.1 million 7,400 MT

Fiscal Year 2015 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $6.6 million 4,870 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

Food Security Situation information is provided by FEWS NET, WFP, and UNHCR as of May 2015
FY 2015 contribution based on funds obligated to date

Last updated: May 14, 2015

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