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Government and humanitarian organizations step up aid to the most vulnerable at the start of the lean season

  • Key Message Update
  • Mauritania
  • May 2024
Government and humanitarian organizations step up aid to the most vulnerable at the start of the lean season

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In May, food security conditions for poor households in agro-pastoral and rain-fed farming areas is characterized by an increasing dependence on markets for their staple foods in a context of high costs of living. Most poor households remain in Stress (IPC Phase 2), though increasingly the poorest households face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Many of the Malian refugees as well as households in host communities in the Hodh El Chargui Willaya are also facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, given the heavy pressure on limited resources as the lean season sets in. 
    • As part of the implementation of its Annual Food Security Response Plan, the Mauritanian government is distributing free food and cash to around 75,000 vulnerable families in Gorgol, Hodh El Chargui, Assaba, Tagant, and Nouahdibou. In addition, to relieve livestock farmers affected by the biomass shortage, the government has put 47,000 tonnes of cattle feed on sale at subsidized prices. The operation, which began in March in the worst-affected areas, notably Hodh El Chargui, Hodh El Garbi, and Assaba, was expected to be scaled up to all regions starting in April 2024.
    • Despite a relative decline in the flow of Malian arrivals in the first few weeks of May, the influx continues in Hodh El Chargui. At the end of April, there were around 12,000 people in the Mbera camp and over 82,000 outside the camp. According to UNICEF, a measles epidemic is underway, with over 500 cases reported, and health workers are mobilizing to vaccinate all children up to 15 years. In addition, several humanitarian actors including WFP, Action Against Hunger (ACF), UNHCR, and UNICEF are responding to the growing needs of refugees arriving in the region by providing cash assistance and water, health, and sanitation (WASH) services. However, needs remain high among refugees and host communities, and are expected to continue rising in the coming months, with UNHCR forecasting the arrival of 240,000 new arrivals by the end of 2024.
    • With the end of Ramadan, prices of sugar, oil, and vegetables have fallen slightly in domestic markets and in Nouakchott. On the other hand, in border areas, the upward trend in prices for these two products continued due to rising household demand. While some local cereals are in short supply on the markets, staples such as rice and pasta remain available at stable prices compared with last month, and slightly lower than at the same time last year. In livestock markets, supply remains high in some markets due to residual Ramadan stocks, while in other weekly assembly markets, high supply is driven by livestock farmers destocking because of pasture shortages. Nonetheless, cattle prices continue to rise everywhere, from 15 percent higher than last month at Adel Bagrou in Hodh el Chargui to 22 percent higher at Matar Lahjar in Brakna. In Nouakchott market, prices are up between 8 and 12 percent higher for underweight sheep and 15 to 20 percent higher for overweight sheep compared to last month.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Mauritania Key Message Update May 2024: Government and humanitarian organizations step up aid to the most vulnerable at the start of the lean season, 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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