Humanitarian Action for Children 2022 – Mauritania – Mauritania


  • In Mauritania, one in four children lives in absolute poverty, 80% of children experience at least one form of violence and 3 in 10 children are exposed to drought, floods or suffer from severe acute malnutrition.2 The COVID pandemic- 19 and polio epidemics have worsened the situation and hampered the development of a protective environment for children.

  • UNICEF is committed to ensuring the well-being of children through an evidence-based, integrated and multisectoral approach to link humanitarian assistance and development, while increasing accountability and ownership of national stakeholders . Inclusion of gender equality and disability and the scaling up of community mechanisms and innovations are priorities in order to reach more children.

  • In 2022, $ 18.9 million is needed to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Mauritania, 40% of which is needed for the response to COVID-19. This includes $ 6.4 million to provide an integrated response to health and malnutrition.


Despite sustained economic growth, Mauritania’s wealth is distributed inequitably, with the social sectors and the most vulnerable people, especially children, having the least access. Mauritania faces the disastrous consequences of climate change, 7 with severe droughts and seasonal floods affecting the availability of drinking water and the use of adequate sanitation practices, 8 and endangering peaceful coexistence and social cohesion between communities. This is particularly true in the Hodh ech Chargui (HeC) region, which continues to face the consequences of the armed conflict in Mali, which has been ongoing since 2012. The country is home to the largest population of Malian refugees in the Sahel region, with over 67,466 Malian refugees living in and around M’Berra camp.9

About 27 percent of children (472,000) live in absolute poverty and 6 percent (106,000) live in a situation of severe or extreme deprivation which has an impact on their physical, mental and emotional development.10 Living conditions precarious, combined with disparities, translate into limited access to basic social services such as education, with 163,228 children out of school.11 Distance education programs included in the ministry’s COVID-19 response plan Education remains irregular across the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic and other epidemics, such as measles, polio and Rift Valley fever seriously threaten the resilience and development of the population.12 This epidemiological situation is expected to continue in 2022 (with only 556,073 people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, representing 21% of the national target).

The nutritional context in Mauritania has also deteriorated since the start of the pandemic. In 2021, a total of 1,385,278 people were facing food insecurity. Among them, 11.3% suffered from severe forms of food insecurity. 13 Nationally, the global acute malnutrition rate is 11 percent and the severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rate is 1.9 percent.14 Twenty-one out of 55 districts are experiencing a nutritional emergency. 15 The Ministry of Health estimates that 136,254 children suffering from acute malnutrition, including 32,740 cases of SAM, will require emergency care in 2022.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, various forms of violence, including gender-based violence, have been exacerbated.16 An estimated 71 percent (350,262) of children aged 1 to 4 are victims of violence, while 84 percent (422,510) of children aged 5 to 14 are subjected to at least one form of psychological or physical punishment by members of their household.17 civil status remains alarming (46.2%).

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