In spite of government interventions to respond to the food crisis, nearly a third of Mauritanian households were food insecure in July, the highest rate on record for the country. Nearly 1m people were food insecure, of which 800,000 in rural areas and 200,000 in urban areas. In addition to the chronically vulnerable South and East, food insecurity rates have sharply increased in Trarza, in the North (Inchiri, Adrar, Tiris Zemmour) and in Tagant. In 4 regions (Tagant, Assaba, Brakna, Hodh Echargui), GAM rates exceeded the 15 per cent threshold, according to the July SMART survey. In the refugee camps of M’Bera the nutrition situation is critical, with GAM affecting 20 per cent of children due to illness and inadequate food intake.
The food security outlook will hinge on the outcome of the on-going rainy season. Rainfall patterns have thus far been favorable.
Food prices have stabilized in 2012 at the high levels reached in 2011. As of July 2012, increases are noted for wheat (+40 per cent), cooking oil (+34 per cent), sugar (+20 per cent) and imported rice (+17 per cent) compared to July 2010. Local grains and cowpeas are either prohibitively expensive (+75 per cent for cowpeas, +58 per cent for sorghum) or not available. It is expected that higher international prices will pass through to domestic Mauritanian markets in coming months.