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Despite consistent supply to the markets during Ramadan, prices continue to rise

  • Key Message Update
  • Mauritania
  • March 2024
Despite consistent supply to the markets during Ramadan, prices continue to rise

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The early depletion of food stocks due to below-average rainfall in parts of the rainfed and southern agropastoral zones is leading households to rely increasingly on the market for their food.  Nevertheless, given sustained access to cash and in-kind remittances from migration, as well as income from pastoral labor, animal sales, mining and handicrafts, and self-employment, most will remain in Stress (IPC Phase 2). In the Hodh El Chargui Wilaya in the east of the country, the massive influx of Malian refugees continues to exert pressure on local resources and host populations. Faced with this mounting pressure on food and income sources, households who are increasingly reliant on crisis coping strategies to meet their food needs are expected to face food consumption gaps indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    • As Ramadan approaches, the supply of imported foodstuffs is relatively good with imports increasing to meet rising demand. There has also been a marked improvement in the supply of traditional cereals, millet and maize, mainly from Senegal, as well as sorghum and short-cycle cowpeas from Mali. Similarly, the supply of market garden produce, which is mainly home-grown, is being reinforced during the month of Ramadan with the opening of 100 stores by the government, including 80 in Nouakchott and 20 in the interior of the country. The aim of these stores is to provide citizens with basic foodstuffs at subsidized prices. Food kits are sold at the symbolic price of MRO 24,100, well below their market value.
    • The supply of livestock on the markets is relatively high, as breeders tend to increase their sales to compensate for the deterioration in livestock/cereal terms of trade. As a result, prices for sheep, the most traded species in the run-up to religious events, have fallen by an average of 10 percent. As for transhumance, movements are intensifying. For the time being, however, these movements are largely directed towards pastoral reserves in the south of the country.
    • In March, prices of all foodstuffs (local and imported) were up compared to February in all monitored markets. The biggest increases were for sugar (15 percent), milk powder (20 percent), millet (25 percent), and local rice (15 percent) compared with February. This upward trend in prices is due to both typical seasonal increases as the lean season, and demand associated with Ramadan.
    • As of February 29, 2024, there were 99,000 refugees living in the M'Béra camp and 82,000 outside the camp. The influx of Malian refugees due to the deteriorating security situation in Mali continues to have a negative impact on the environment and livelihoods of the host populations. According to an IOM survey, more than a third of them rely on the charity of the host population, and many of them have brought with them livestock (around 240,000), increasing pressure on natural resources, particularly water and pasture. The United States has announced $5 million in humanitarian aid for vulnerable populations inside and outside the M'Béra camp. This aid is also intended to assist local communities hosting Malian refugees and returnees.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Mauritania Key Message Update March 2024: Despite consistent supply to the markets during Ramadan, prices continue to rise, 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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