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Despite above average imported food prices, household food access remains typical

  • Key Message Update
  • Mauritania
  • March 2021
Despite above average imported food prices, household food access remains typical

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The supply of food in the markets remains average. Overall, in the markets of the rain-fed and agro-pastoral areas (Abdel-Bagrou, Nema, Ould Yengé, Kaedi, Aleg and Boghé), prices are stable for wheat and local cereals, but slightly above last years prices for broken rice and sugar by 18 and 12 percent, respectively. These increases are linked to customs taxes which were suspended in 2020 and  to the reduction of merchant stocks due to the slowdown in activities at the port of Nouakchott due to bad weather conditions. In livestock markets, prices are up 18 percent on average for small ruminants compared to last year. This promotes the livestock to cereal terms of trade for pastoralists.

    • The availability of pastoral resources (water and pasture) is good and similar to that of an average year. In areas of localized deficits (in the west of the agro-pastoral zone and in the pastoral transhumance zone), transhumance movements are ongoing. Overall, pastoral conditions should favor typical internal movements of herds until the end of April and external ones to Mali and Senegal starting in May. Pastoral households continue to have milk available for consumption and even for sale, but the availability of milk is still lower than in a normal year due to the negative impacts of past lean seasons on farrowing and production.

    • In rain-fed and agro-pastoral areas, the majority of households still have their stocks from rain-fed production and additional lowland crops harvested in January and February. The cash distribution operation for 210,000 households has just been completed and enables the urban poor to cope with the rise in the prices of imported food. It has also enabled households in pastoral areas to build stocks and thus be able to limit seasonal livestock sales.  In the areas of the oases, market gardening productions above the current average represent a source of income and food for households. Overall, the typical access to food and cash distribution allow the majority of households to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) acute food insecurity through May.

    • However, between June and September, when stocks of own production are exhausted, the drop in migration transfers, especially in rain-fed and agro-pastoral areas, the negative impact of the slow economic activities on income-earning opportunities for poor from the informal sector in urban centers, will degrade the purchasing power of the poor who will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity during this period.

    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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