10 Facts About Hunger In Mauritania

Here are ten facts that shed light on the hunger situation in Mauritania. Please help the World Food Programme (WFP) raise awareness by sharing these important facts on Twitter. 

1) Mauritania is a food-deficit country, meaning that it does not produce enough food for the population to live on. It depends on imports for around 70 percent of its cereal needs. 

2) Although Mauritania is a huge country – over 1,000,000 square kilometres – over 80 percent of the country’s land surface is desert. Less than four percent of the land is arable.

3) Nearly ten percent of children under five suffer from acute malnutrition.

4) Multiple climate shocks have undermined the resiliency of people across the country. About 15 percent of the population is consistently food insecure, meaning that they struggle to have enough food to eat on a day-to-day basis.

5) About 25 percent of Mauritanians live on less than US$1.25 a day. 

6) Half of the population does not have access to clean drinking water.

7) In 2015, WFP aims to assist more than 638,120 people living with food insecurity, including over 143,015 children under five, and over 22,495 pregnant and nursing mothers suffering from acute malnutrition.

8) Mauritania hosts the largest number of Malian refugees. As of 31 March 2015, over 52,000 refugees are living in Mbera refugee camp. Since the beginning of the political turmoil in Mali, WFP has been providing life-saving food assistance to refugees who continue to depend largely on external support to meet their most basic survival needs.  

9) Primary school retention rates are very low in Mauritania. Forty-two percent of boys complete their basic education and only 34 percent of girls complete theirs. 

10) WFP provides school meals to over 156,000 primary school children from food insecure and vulnerable households, which supports their access to primary education.

Learn more about hunger and malnutrition from WFP's comprehensive list of Facts About Hunger and Malnutrition.