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Refugee influx puts livelihoods under severe pressure

  • Key Message Update
  • Mauritania
  • April 2024
Refugee influx puts livelihoods under severe pressure

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In this pre-lean season period, almost all poor households in agropastoral and rain-fed farming areas have already exhausted their food stocks a month early due to below-average harvests following insufficient rainfall last rainy season. Income from off-season activities alone will be insufficient to meet the high cost of food. This will lead to a deterioration in the quality of diets and many households will not be able to afford certain non-food expenses without engaging in stressed coping strategies. Thus, most will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2). As for the Malian refugees who continue to arrive at the Mbéra camp or its surroundings, most of whom have lost their main means of livelihood, as well as the host communities in the Hodh El Chargui willaya, will face food consumption deficits indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 
    • The supply of basic foodstuffs on the markets is generally good due to measures taken by the government to ensure that markets are supplied throughout the month of Ramadan.  Nationally, prices for staple foods such as vegetables, dairy products, and sugar in March rose by between 5 and 15 percent compared with last month, while cereal prices remained relatively stable. However, there are regional variations, with some markets seeing cereal prices rise earlier than others due to lower local supply. Prices are expected to continue to rise as the lean season approaches, negatively affecting household access. 
    • The supply of livestock during Ramadan also increased across all livestock markets. The strong presence of Senegalese buyers is reportedly increasing demand for livestock. While supply was high, livestock prices also rose significantly during the month given high demand during Ramadan. The price of an average sheep rose from 4,000 MRU before Ramadan to 4,500 MRU in April in Nouakchott; from 2,800 to 3,200 MRU in Adel Bagrou; and from 3,500 to 4,000 MRU in Boghé. Transhumance movements decreased sharply as it typical during Ramadan. 
    • The influx of Malian refugees continues in the southeast of the country, particularly in the Hodh El Chargui willaya. The majority of new arrivals have settled in several localities in the willaya, close to the border and in the Mbéra camp, whose capacity has been greatly exceeded. The massive influx of refugees is exerting heavy pressure on sources of food, employment, and livelihoods, and is expected to contribute to expanding Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes during the upcoming lean season. 
    • According to seasonal forecasts, above-average to average rainfall totals are expected over the June to September 2024 period in the country's agricultural belt. Normal-to-early season start dates and late-to-average season end dates are also forecast. However, short to medium duration dry spells could occur early in the agricultural season, as well as toward the end of the season, potentially affecting planting and yields. With average to above-average runoff expected in the lower Senegal River basin, there is a high risk of flooding which could result in the loss of crops, property, livestock, and human life in some areas.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Mauritania Key Message Update April 2024: Refugee influx puts livelihoods under severe pressure, 2024.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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