people food insecure
people requiring nutritional assistance
Mauritania, like many other Sahelian countries, faces many security challenges, in addition to climatic hazards, which has led to increased vulnerability among populations, especially at the rural level. Seven out of the country’s 13 regions exceed the World Health Organisation’s emergency threshold for malnutrition, with a total of 165,000 children and pregnant/lactating women requiring nutritional assistance. Nearly 49,000 children under the age of 5 die each year - 54% of them due to malnutrition and related diseases.
The humanitarian situation in the department of Bassikounou (Hodh Echargui region) located on the Malian border, remains particularly alarming, as a precarious security situation persists in nearby northern Mali, Algeria and southern Libya. In Bassikounou, some 56,000 inhabitants are scattered over a vast and hot desert area. Following an influx of Malians fleeing armed conflict across the border, a refugee camp was opened in Mbera in 2012.
As of November 15, 2018, the Mbera camp is now home to more than 57,000 registered Malian refugees and further population displacements are expected due to the instability in the region. Within the camp, the health and nutritional needs remain high.
In December 2018, ALIMA began responding to the medical needs of host and refugee populations in the region, including supporting three health centers in Mbera, Bassikounou and Fassala, three health posts (two in Mbera camp and one in Mbera village), and providing secondary health services at the Bassikounou Health Center, which includes surgical and obstetrical emergencies within the surgical block. The project’s target population are children under the age of 15, and pregnant and lactating women.
The main objectives of the project are:
Provide access to and reinforce the provision of quality health care to the most vulnerable populations in supported facilities
Provide vaccination coverage to prevent outbreaks
Ensure the management of pediatric hospitalizations and maternal health for the local populations coming from the Mbera camp
Strengthen prevention and early diagnosis of pediatric and obstetric complications
Maintain a referral and counter-reference system for people in the department requiring hospitalization
Ensure the surgical management in the operating room of the Bassikounou health center for life-threatening emergencies and Cesarean sections
Support the structures of the Ministry of Health to ensure the integration of the health system specific to the Mbera camp into the national health system as a more sustainable solution
Develop activities at the community level (awareness-raising, monitoring of people lost to follow-up, etc...)
This project is the first phase of a nexus approach between humanitarian and development that ALIMA wishes to implement in Bassikounou.
In Mauritania, ALIMA projects are funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).
Photo credits: Youness Mohamed / ALIMA